‘Post’ writer helps students improve writing skills

“He’s been a wonderful addition to our first week of production,” said Rebecca Heslin, Technician editor. “He’s helped the staff hammer out some common problems as well as some things we hadn’t thought about. He rocks.”

Heslin also said Elsen quickly caught on to on the of the staff’s biggest problems, meeting deadline. ” Deadline is our main problem and the majority of the little problems would probably be caught if we were making deadline.”

“He’s been a wonderful addition to our first week of production,” said Rebecca Heslin, Technician editor. “He’s helped the staff hammer out some common problems as well as some things we hadn’t thought about. He rocks.”

Heslin also said Elsen quickly caught on to on the of the staff’s biggest problems, meeting deadline. ” Deadline is our main problem and the majority of the little problems would probably be caught if we were making deadline.”

Greg Behr, features editor, said it was the small things Elsen caught that stood out in his mind.

“I really appreciate the small things Bill has pointed out to us that are detrimental to our credibility,” Behr said. “The crappy headlines, the misuse of commas, recurrence of words within subheads and heads and pull quotes. We seem to slap a lot of the key things together at the end of the night, ie. captions, heads, subheads, pull quotes, etc. A little more concentration on these key elements will pay off a lot with our credibility.”

Bill Elsen discusses that day's edition with the editorial board of the Technician. Elsen, a former editor with The Washington Post, came in the first week of school in the spring semester to work with reporters and other staff members of the Technician, Agromeck and Nubian Message.

Bill Elsen discusses that day’s edition with the editorial board of the Technician. Elsen, a former editor with The Washington Post, came in the first week of school in the spring semester to work with reporters and other staff members of the Technician, Agromeck and Nubian Message.

And it was credibility that also stood out for photography editor Nick Pironio as the most important lesson learned.

“I learned about credibility how all our little mistakes make us not credible…,” he said.

Elsen also worked with the yearbook staff and emphasized teamwork.

Yearbook editor Josh Bassett said Elsen emphasized that, “We have to work as a team on every spread in the yearbook.”

Elsen retired from The Washington Post at the end of March 2004. He is a contributing editor at Presstime, the monthly magazine of the Newspaper Association of America, and is career development director and an editor for reznetnews.org, an online newspaper produced by Native American college students. He is also a consultant, traveling to universities and conventions to work with student journalists.

At The Post, Elsen started in sports as a copy editor and finished on the Metro Tab Desk as a slot. From January 1994 to May 2001, he was director of recruiting and hiring for the newsroom. Before that, he spent nearly 13 years as a night editor and assignment editor on the national desk.