Editors at Work: Organic Life

Gina Tomaine, ’10, is associate deputy editor at Rodale’s Organic Life. While an English and economics major at Saint Joseph’s University, she wrote for The Hawk and for Crimson and Gray. She received an M.F.A. in creative nonfiction from Emerson College in 2013.

How did you find yourself at Organic Life? 

I began at Rodale’s Organic Life in 2016 as a lifestyle editor for their Organic Life Magazine. Now, as associate deputy editor, I produce and assign the media for the digital platform that has taken the place of the traditional print magazine.

What are some of the challenges of shifting from editing a print publication to editing an online publication?

Learning to navigate the challenges that come with publishing to a web page rather than the traditional media we have been used to for so long has been an ongoing issue for legacy media brands like Organic Life. For example, well-designed stories meant to be read as articles are now condensed to web page layouts viewed on an iPhone, tablet or laptop screen. It not only changes the aesthetics and feel of how the article is meant to be seen and read, but it can, in some ways, change its interpretation, too. In the past, publishing for print meant long meetings, planning and design sessions, and more investment in each individual story. Because we simply don’t have the time or platform any more to invest in an entire spread, we dedicate our time to individual pieces with catchy headlines in hopes that people will click and read. This is the strategy most media brands have adopted.

How often do you publish?

It used to be six times a year, and now it’s six times a day. Each piece is allotted time for one round of edits. The benefit of publishing to an online platform is that you have the ability to edit in real time after the story goes live. Publishing at this pace is difficult and definitely not the best way to do things. However, the demands of the industry have changed, and we are still figuring out how to meet those demands while sustaining the integrity of the brand.

How has editing impacted you as a writer?

Though I have always seen myself as more of a writer, taking on an editorial role has allowed me to step back and realize the mistakes that I am making in my own writing. Editing has improved my ability to write by helping me truly focus on the content and attention to the details that enhance the piece.

What is the most rewarding thing about your job?

It’s rewarding to work in a creative field full time. I also truly appreciate the content that Organic Life publishes because I enjoy and support the brand’s mission—sustainability. The content we produce is useful, engaging, and encourages sustainability from our readers. I also get the opportunity to work with a multitude of writers, many of whom are extremely grateful and excited to write a piece for the magazine.

 

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—Anna Boyce, ’17