Sigh. I’m a cut-and-paste ‘expert.’

More interesting comments have come in regarding my previous student advice post. But pay particular attention to the remarks of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune‘s Lucas Grindley.

Take note, future interns and recent hires, as Grindley writes:

“When folks send me their resumes, I often feel bad for those who think they have two years experience working at a major news Web site. But really they have two years experience pasting photos into a gallery and writing cutlines.

If that’s your job, learn on your own how to do something more complicated. Learn a programming language. Teach yourself something. Try Flash. Anything.

But don’t tout yourself as an “expert” at cutting and pasting photos or stories into a content management system.”

Too true. It’s extremely easy to get stuck doing the daily copy-paste grind of photo galleries and updating databases all the time. Staff members love to have the interns do that stuff so they can work on fabulous interactive Flash graphics and win SNDies. If you’re an intern, don’t be afraid to ask about working on more challenging projects if you you’re getting handed too much copy-paste work. But don’t be a diva either; every person must pull his weight with the boring stuff.

As a primer, doing the copy-paste is great to become familiar with content-management systems (I cut my teeth online doing the Sun-Sentinel‘s Day in Pictures photo gallery). But make sure you are being challenged in your work and that you’re constantly learning more.

Don’t think just because you’re working on a news Web site means you’re hot stuff. Challenge yourself to produce compelling Flash graphics, slideshows, videos and audio stories for your portfolio. If you don’t, you’re going to be the Cutline Master for years to come.

About Danny Sanchez

Danny Sanchez is the Audience Development Manager at Tribune's Sun-Sentinel.com and OrlandoSentinel.com. Danny has been with Tribune since 2005 in a variety of editorial, digital and product development roles in Hartford, Orlando and Fort Lauderdale. He has also previously worked in the newsrooms of the Tampa Bay Times and The Miami Herald.
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