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The Bucknellian – A Student Organization February 28, 2007

Posted by Brian Mulligan in Networks, Organizational Culture, Organizational Design, Workplaces.

I decided to take a look at the connections between the different editors at the student-run newspaper, The Bucknellian. I have had direct interactions with all the students on the Bucknellian editorial staff being a Sports Editor in charge of layout. The relationships between all of the students on the paper are very unique and actually fairly interesting.

At the top of the heap is the Editor-in-Chief. He has last say in anything before it heads out to print and is in charge of maintaining the quality of the layout and content in working with associate editors of content and layout. Additionally, he works hand-in-hand with the business arm of the paper that is charge of the ads and finances of the paper.

  1. Editor-in Chief
    1. Associate Editor of Layout
      1. Layout Editors
        1. Sports
        2. News
        3. Features
        4. Opinions
        5. Arts & Entertainment
    2. Associate Editor of Content
      1. Assigning Editors
        1. Sports
        2. News
        3. Features
        4. Opinions
        5. Arts & Entertainment
      2. Chief Copy Editor
        1. Assistant Chief Copy Editor
          1. Copy Editors
    3. Business Manager
      1. Office Managers
      2. Advertising Managers

The Business Manager overseas how ads are placed and seeks out new businesses to place ads in the paper. He overseas all the finances of the paper and where we can and can’t spend money. Underneath him are the office managers who help with the general upkeep of the office and records and the advertising managers who design and size the ads.

The Associate Editor of Layout is the specialist in layout. She has final approval and is the most trained out of all the layout editors. Additionally, she is the resource if you’re in a bind for layout as well. Underneath her are all the section layout editors and section assistant layout editors.

The Associate Editor of Content is responsible for what is written in the paper. He has the last say on what can and can’t be said in the paper and can make changes accordingly. Below him are two different divisions. The assigning editors are responsible for assigning articles to the writers and assist in titles and captions for layout are under the Associate Editor of Content.  Also, the copy editors are below him as well and they correct all the mistakes in the article before publishing.

That’s basically the make-up of the paper’s hierarchy for layout and content.

There are also many connections between the different positions in the paper.  The Editor-in-chief has to work closely with the Chief Copy Editor and the two associate editor to coordinate a smooth paper production.  Also the different layout editors work together to squeeze in article by swapping ads or even pages, so the paper has all of the white space covered.

Another layer to this organization is who gets paid or not?  The business branch are all paid along with the copy editors.  Everybody else is unpaid.  Do think that this makes sense?  Should some of the people who invest more time get paid for their hard-work?



1. breichen - February 28, 2007

This seems like a pretty standard organization for a publication. I interned at People Magazine en Espanol, and it was quite similar. I guess the saying “if it’s not broke don’t fix it” holds true in the world of publications.

2. Meg - February 28, 2007

One question should perhaps be considered. Would the quality of the articles improve if compensation existed? If the answer is, yes, maybe these employees should be compensated. I’d like to know if some of the layout or assigning editors are frustrated with their lack of compensation and if it affects deadlines or anything else. If not though, there is no reason to increase costs for those who may simply view the Bucknellian as a satisfying extracurricular.

3. Elaine - February 28, 2007

Ha it’s funny that Brian just so happened to list my job up there. I couldn’t say we’ve had staff meetings or whatnot during my week on the job, because we only have three people in my division of the Bucknellian (advertising manager). Perhaps a small gathering as such does not require a large formal setup that most organizations have. So far the Bucknellian has been efficient and haven’t faced many financial dilemmas.

4. Jordi - March 5, 2007

Do you have to speak Spanish to intern at People Magazine en Espanol?

And, shouldn’t it be


5. Jordi - March 5, 2007

Are they getting paid in reputation and resume lines that translate into later positions?

6. Jordi - April 3, 2007

This is a good example of a providing a lot of raw information about an organization. You allow us to see the structure of the newspaper for ourselves without drawing lots of conclusions.

Further questions (do you answer these?) How does the status of paid versus unpaid cross cut the functional organization? Does it create tension between members of a content section? between the Business and Content groups?

How is that tension handled? Humor? Informally?

Does the have a role in exacerbating or improving tensions?

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