Part of what makes our content team at USA TODAY NETWORK so unique is the spirit of collaboration and inclusivity that is so alive in our work. These invaluable cultural factors play a crucial role in how Michelle Washington, Managing Editor of Studio Gannett, boldly helps to lead her team of storytellers through the entire publication process. She shared with us how she and her team work together to create strong, meaningful content to fill the pages of the publications that Studio Gannett produces.
Every Role Plays a Part
“For each publication, we schedule brainstorm sessions where the entire team gets together—we even invite other staffers from around the company, including people from advertising, the newsroom and our digital department. This practice keeps our content very inclusive and interesting while also ensuring that we aren’t just telling the same stories over again. It gives us the chance to broaden the diversity of our content because we have so many different professional backgrounds collaborating.”
We Break Down Barriers By Celebrating Our Backgrounds
“We’re fortunate to have a very diverse group of editors and page designers within our own department – we are made up of team members who are different ages, genders, and ethnicities. This gives us an edge because that cross-section of experiences means there is a greater chance that someone will offer different insights or suggest a new direction on certain pieces – and that person might pick up on an idea that was misrepresented or unclear, which allows us to put out the strongest content we possibly can. Having such a wide array of different backgrounds really benefits our team in our mission to create content that is accurate and reflective of our community.”
Every Challenge Presents the Opportunity to Create Something Unique and Powerful Together
“Every year we produce a Department of Agriculture government tab. It’s one of the more challenging publications because most of us do not have expertise in that area, unlike some of our other titles, where one of our staff members usually has some experience or knowledge about the topic area. This specific tab was proving to be particularly challenging one year, so we really had to put our heads together to come up with ideas that would not only engage the audience we were serving, but also inform and captivate them. It was really exciting how we all got our creative juices flowing to come up with ideas that would make that publication shine.”
Our Many Voices Are Empowered To Connect Communities
“Telling stories that matter to our community means a lot to me, because it gives me the opportunity to really connect with our readership. I really feel a sense of belonging and responsibility when we create impactful stories that our readers really care about. Our team holds a lot of responsibility, and we don’t take that lightly – that’s why we really like to get as many perspectives involved as possible to better represent the communities we serve.”
Develop your voice as a USA TODAY NETWORK content team member and start making a real difference in communities across the nation!