I’ve come to a painful decision. I’m in a place where I’m trying to hang onto something that no longer serves you the way it used to and something I’ve come to dread. After three years of pretty much weekly online discussions, I’m canceling #EditorTherapy chat.
If you don’t know what #EditorTherapy chat is, then I’m sure you don’t care about this decision. But those of you who’ve used it to network and learn understand the heartache of ending the chat.
Editor Therapy chat was inspired by a conference session I’ve hosted for many years at National College Media Convention. In the session, I encourage student editors to ask me questions about their job-related issues and concerns. The session typically lasts the entire hour it’s allotted, then spills into the hallway for about another hour. Students randomly stop me to ask me questions during the remainder of the conference.
It was clear to me from the standing-room-only session that there are a lot more editors in need than I can help during an hour-long session a couple of times a year. That’s why I started #EditorTherapy chat in November 2015. I wanted to help more student editors. And, for awhile, that’s exactly what the chat did. For three years we met weekly, even during two summers, to discuss your issues. At first the chat was highly attended and the conversation rapid, but I’ve noticed that it began to taper off. I did surveys about the chat, altering the time, inviting more guests and creating graphics for the questions. However, even though the Editor Therapy conference session was still popular this year, the chat seems to have lost it’s momentum. Some weeks there is only one student in attendance. Other times, the guests and I are the only ones chatting.
I know students are busy. I’m busy too. When I initially started the chat, I promised to host it “as long as students keep showing up.” Here we are. The truth is that the return on investment just isn’t great enough anymore. I spend several hours a week on the chat. It’s time I think would be better spent here, writing helpful content that you can read on your own schedule.
The decision to cancel #EditorTherapy was difficult because of you. There are so many amazing journalists I wouldn’t know without the chat, like Devyn Giannetti, Keenan Betz, Madison O’Connor, Audra Gamble, Rachel Fradette, Jackson Gardner, Harley Duncan, and the most loyal #EditorTherapy participant, Adriana Lacy. I hate the idea of giving up this relationship-building tool that allows me to help student journalists, like the ones I advise.
While I’m letting one thing go, I haven’t quit on you. A student journalist attending Editor Therapy session at convention recommended I create a Slack workspace for student journalists. I’ve done so and would love to continue the conversation with you there. Just send me an email or DM me your email address for an invite.
Thank you to all of you who made #EditorTherapy chat so much fun to host for the past three years. I’ve enjoyed learning from every guest and every attendee. Please let me know how I can continue helping you.