Editors at Work: San Antonio Express-News

Jamie Stockwell is managing editor of the San Antonio Express-News in San Antonio, Texas.

How did you get into editing?

I graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, and I had a degree in journalism. I moved to Washington, D.C. for an internship at The Washington Post. I worked there as a reporter for eight years covering primarily criminal justice issues. I moved back to my native south Texas 10 years ago to become a criminal justice editor. After editing for a couple of years I became the metro editor, and then from there I became the managing editor, which is what I do now. I oversee the daily operations of the newsroom and our subscriber websites.

To be a successful editor, what skills do you consider critical?

I think the same skills that are really critical for a reporter, too, and that’s, above all, a curiosity. There are a lot of things that we can help shape, but we can’t fix an incurious person. With editors I really look for patience, too, and an ability to coach and mentor the younger reporters on staff. I think a bit of fearlessness and some skepticism, too, is really important. We always want to take people at their word, but you’ve got to have a little bit of skepticism to question and not be afraid to question.

What do you love about your job? 

I just love working with reporters and editors from the beginning of reporting all the way through to the final editing. I love working with the designers to get it packaged and presented in a very interactive and engaging fashion online, and then in print so that it feels more like a lean-back experience where it’s something that readers can really spend some time with. I love the aspect of being out in the community. It’s really important to get to know the everyday reader who has a truly vested interest in what we do and why we exist. I try to meet with people as often as I can and go to events, and just get to know not just our readers, but the people who are implementing policies and voting on major issues.

What challenges do you face in your role?

The biggest challenge is getting reporters to really understand the importance of early deadlines that are digitally driven to capture the online readers and to really engage with them and interact with them in a way that’s very different from print. Beyond the competitive issues, people are very busy, so trying to find a space where we can get into their lives a little bit and help them learn more about the community.

Can you give an example of how you do that?

I moderated a panel called Headlines & Hops. I had on the panel my political reporters, and we talked a lot about local politics, state politics and national politics. It was great because we had 200 people show up for this—all subscribers or new subscribers— and they were really engaged and interested, and a lot of them stayed afterwards to talk to us.

 

The San Antonio Express-News has paid summer internship opportunities at is newsroom in San Antonio, Texas.

 — Lauren Rose DiNuzzo, M.A. ’19