Michigan State University
Michigan State University
Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures
PW Students Take on Real-World Editing: ing Magazine
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In WRA 480/481 [Publication Management I/II], students have the opportunity to write, edit, and promote ing Magazine. From deciding what articles are written, to researching and conducting interviews, to writing and editing the articles, students get full control of the magazine. They also are in charge of promoting the magazine through ing's social media and online blog.

The courses provide a great opportunity for students to get hands-on experience with all aspects of magazine publication and to learn what they're capable of. Dr. Kate Birdsall, the WRAC faculty member currently teaching the ing sections of WRA 480/481, describes the feelings students typically experience in the first week. "There's this moment of abject terror, and then they pull it off. It's amazing to see people do something they thought they couldn't do. After that, the confidence goes way up."

Not only do students get bylines in a published magazine, they also get experience communicating professionally. Because the magazine is run by the M3 Group, a Lansing media company, students get to have conversations with the company about balancing the market, advertiser, and audience expectations. They also have the opportunity to research and experiment with other areas that are interesting to them such as layout design and effective social media strategies. "Students who have taken this class can talk confidently about what it means to run a magazine," says Dr. Birdsall.

Dr. Birdsall believes that all PW students have something to gain from working with ing. While students in the editing and publishing track may find the most direct link, those in the communities and cultures track gain experience writing for an audience and managing communications via social media. "I've had really good success with students who are more interested in writing for communities because this is a community-based publication," Dr. Birdsall points out. Those in the digital and technical writing track gain experience communicating effectively during the writing and editing processes and also get exposure to layout design and publishing in online spaces through ing's blog and social media.

"I don't even think of it as a class; I think of it more as an actual job," says PW senior Reyna Hurand. During her time in 480/81, Reyna was also part of the social media team, promoting the magazine through Twitter. Through this experience, she was able to learn to use software applications that professionals use for social media management and gain experience with social media marketing and promotion.

Here is what several other students have to say about working with ing.

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Emily Orlando

"I want to work for a publication after college, and the things I've learned about that industry in this class have been invaluable. Now I know how a magazine is published, from conception to completion."

     
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Maggie Morgan

"My dream is to write for a publication doing music journalism, so working on the writing team for ing is helping me develop skills that I can actually use in the future. It's also an amazing feeling to open up one of our issues and see my name printed underneath the articles I put my heart into writing."

     
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Reyna Hurand

"I really loved managing the Twitter [account]. I had to learn how to use different tools like Hootsuite and figure out how to interact with people online and get people to read our magazine with different ways of marketing and promotion. If I want to work for a bigger company in the future, now I have some resources."

     
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Allison Bertram

"Although we have stress associated with deadlines and wanting to write the 'perfect' story, the ing team is really like a family. The skills we build as writers and editors are impressive, but the atmosphere is invaluable."

     
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Danielle Schwartz

"I loved connecting with other members of the MSU community and learning about the things they're proud of or excited about. The most memorable moments were seeing my work published on so many different platforms. As nerdy as it sounds, getting the proof of the first issue we wrote together back in October 2016 is one of my most exciting memories from college."

     

 

Written by Jay Hull
6 April 2018