Copy editors are unsung heroes.
Their work is such a blend of skills — careful reading, writing headlines that make the point in a zippy and interesting way, laying out pages that are attractive and easy to navigate, and, increasingly, handling web content with all those same goals.
That’s why you want some bright people on your copy desk.
We feel fortunate at the Daily Mail to have several people who match that description — and we’ve just added two more smart staffers.
You might not see their names in the paper because they work behind the scenes, but these are two people who will make the rest of us look good.
Samantha Ricketts graduated magna cum laude in 2011 from Concord University, where she was also an honors scholar. She double-majored in English and Spanish and has a minor in psychology (which, believe me, will come in handy when working in a newsroom.)
She had practically every leadership position at the Concordian, her college student newspaper, during her time there. Opinions editor, news editor and editor in chief.
Samantha is a Charleston native and a George Washington High School graduate. And, oh yeah, was a National Merit Finalist.
How did she find her way into journalism? Here’s what she had to say:
I’ve always enjoyed reading and writing, and in middle school my class started up the school newspaper that had been MIA for a few years. I was an editor (and came up with the name) for the John Adams Monthly Scoop (JAMS). Then I joined the GW newspaper as an editor, although I think we only put out one issue. And I continued on to move through the editor-chain for the student newspaper at Concord, ultimately becoming editor-in-chief. I also was always asked to edit friends’ papers for school, and I thought that was fun, in a weird way.
Heather Greenfield tallied a 3.9 grade point average at Shepherd College, where she graduated this past spring with a major in English and a minor in print journalism. She was a McMurran Scholar, Shepherd University’s highest academic honor.
Heather was editor in chief of the Picket, the student newspaper at Shepherd. She was also a radio reporter for 89.7 FM WSHC in Shepherdstown, plus a reporting intern for the Shepherdstown Chronicle. She is a Martinsburg High School graduate.
If you care to know, and I bet you do, she claims to spend her spare time writing poetry about professional wrestlers from the 1980s and recently took up disc golf and knitting.
Here’s how Heather says she got where she is now:
A series of lying individuals tricked me into journalism. I was an aspiring education major, but my advisor implied that an education minor was useless and that I should try a journalism class instead. On my first day of Intro to Print, the university newspaper’s news editor told me I should come to their meeting to “check them out.” I was desperate for friends so I went. There was no “checking out.” I was given two assignments that I failed miserably at. So I kept going to the meetings and taking assignments to prove that I didn’t suck. Somewhere in there, I fell in love with journalism.
So, welcome to Heather and Sam! Welcome to our workplace, and please catch our mistakes.