Think Like an Editor blog by Steve Davis and Emilie Davis, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University

These 3 traits hold promise for us all

By · Saturday, August 9th, 2014

Summer is still with us in full force, but hints of the fall semester are creeping in around us via emails, schedules, requests for syllabi and interactions with incoming students. At Syracuse University and the Newhouse School, the welcome mat is being rolled out for freshmen and returning students.

As we reflect on what’s ahead, here are three key traits for everyone to keep in mind. We can’t promise success, but we can vouch for these three concepts as being essential for building good relationships and for creating a solid foundation for your careers.

Collaboration. Working with others doesn’t refer only to a team of people. Collaboration between two people is just as important. The one-on-one relationship between a professor and a student is a prime example. How well communication happens at the beginning — both ways — sets the tone for the rest of the semester. In journalism, the same relationship between a writer and editor is vital to having a shared language for a shared vision. This is how the best stories get covered, uncovered, created and published.

Consistency. Whether the issue is a point of style, grammar or accuracy, consistency brings order out of chaos. That’s why journalists follow The Associated Press Stylebook; why they check and recheck everything; and why they learn local style, too, so their audience members are treated to content that is free of any errors or missteps. And consistency refers to more than content that is clean and clear. Be the person who consistently communicates: Reach out and reply back.

Conscience. This trait will bring you to higher levels in anything you do. When ethical standards rule, how can you go wrong? When you follow your inner compass, you will make wise decisions. When you know right from wrong, you are already ahead. Personal decisions aren’t only about you; they usually involve and affect others, especially colleagues in your profession. Think twice and examine your conscience often. Keep in touch with your inner self. Be true to yourself and to what’s best for the common good.

Enjoy the rest of the summer, and we’ll see many of you soon!

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