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Sandra D. Long: Vice President Newsroom Operations

In Her Own Words

Long shares some of the lessons she learned throughout her career, talks about her future plans, and provides advice for anyone interested in pursuing a career in newspaper publishing.

What are your day to day job responsibilities?

I am responsible for the photo department, copy desk, news desk, graphic arts department, news research library and the editorial assistant staff.  I am also a liaison to the business side of the company working with advertising, circulation and production.

Is specialized training required?

Having a background in journalism helps. You have to learn how each department works and how they are all connected.

How do you stay abreast of the changes and trends in your industry?

I check websites that monitor the industry, read magazines and attend seminars when possible.

How long is your typical work day?

I usually work about 9 to 10 hours a day.

Do you need to have a journalism background to pursue this career?

It helps but you can also have a background in other areas.  The key is to practice the craft as much as possible.

What advice would you give to someone who is considering a career in news?

Read a variety of subjects as much as possible. Write as often as possible. If you can, major in Journalism because you will learn more about the latest ways to report the news.

What would you say is the most enjoyable part of your job?

Working with editors and reporters to produce a visually sharp and engaging news report.  It is especially rewarding when a story or special section comes together even better than you could have planned.

 

Long in her office, Philadelphia Media Holding, Phila., PA

 

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Working with people and trying to get them to do their best work.

What are your other interests?

I am very interested in history. I collect stamps and I scrapbook.  I also love to travel.

How do you achieve work life balance?

I try to set up a schedule so I can include exercise. I try to leave the office no later than 7 p.m. so I can have time with family and friends. I also talk to my colleagues throughout the day.

What are some of your previous job titles?

Managing Editor; Deputy Managing Editor; Associate Managing Editor; Assistant Managing Editor; Deputy Pennsylvania Editor; Neighbors Editor; Copy Editor, Reporter.

Did you always know what you wanted to do with your life, or has that changed over the years?

I always knew I wanted to write. At one point, I wanted to be a teacher and I also wanted to be a guidance counselor. I’ve also wanted to be a publisher but I’ve changed my mind on that.

What is the greatest challenge you had to overcame to become a successful professional? Trying to balance work life with family life, raising children. It was not easy. You have to make choices everyday.

What accomplishment(s) are you most proud of?

Being a founding member of the National Association of Black Journalists. Being part of a team that was selected as a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize for breaking news. Being the convener of Tea and Conversation with African American women at the Philadelphia Daily News and Inquirer. Reaching the level of Vice President of the company.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I will probably teach college level journalism courses at a university.

Are there any other lessons learned or advice you can share with readers?

Always be open to learning. Never stop being curious about life. And continue to write and read as much as you can.

August 24, 2010

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