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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

2011-12 editor in chief shows passion for The Shield

News and Information Article Photo
Justin Law, 2011-2012 editor in chief of The Shield.
Photo Credit:
LaVerne Jones
Contact for more information:
Sarah Harlan
Administrative Associate
News & Information Services
As the 2011-2012 editor in chief of The Shield, Justin Law brings experience and fresh ideas to the position. Law, a junior majoring in journalism, has been involved with The Shield since he was a freshman. He began working for The Shield as the online editor and was the opinion editor before being selected as editor in chief.

The son of Jodie and Lane Law of Morgantown, Indiana, Law attended Brown County High School, where, through a mentoring program, he began spending time at the local paper, The Brown County Democrat. The experience inspired Law to get involved in journalism.

"I remember my first column at The Brown County Democrat, Law said. "It was on how I thought standardized testing was nonsensical. I look back at that article and realize how much I've improved since then!"

This past summer, Law, along with Erin Gibson, advisor to The Shield, developed training sessions for all returning and incoming Shield staff and reporters. "Along with more investigative pieces and feature stories, one of my goals is to improve the quality of our articles," Law said. However, Law's first priority for this academic year is The Shield's web site.

"We developed a new site last year, and now I'd like to utilize it to get more news out to the campus community," Law said. "My goal is to have something new on the site from each section every day."

This summer, Law attended the Management Seminar for College News Editors at the University of Georgia-Athens, along with other editors from across the nation where he learned several lessons and gained knowledge about how to be an efficient editor.

"One of the most worthwhile lessons was that editors need to be coaches," Law said. "I am no longer fixing mistakes. I will try to coach my staff to become better, which in turn, will benefit everyone involved with The Shield."

Law would like to see The Shield evolve from an eight to a 12-page paper while he is editor in chief. To make this happen the paper will need more writers, which is why Law plans to recruit more heavily this year.

"I'm thrilled with The Shield staff," Law said. "And I'm looking forward to adding new writers. We've got new, amazing office space in University Center East and we need to use it to our advantage."

While Law is looking forward to the upcoming year, there are a few obstacles that he will face, one of which will be rebuilding burnt bridges across campus. "The Shield has had some relationships smolder for one reason or another," Law said. "We're working to rebuild rapport with a few people. The Shield is a student-run paper. We're here to learn, and sometimes we make mistakes."

To get involved with The Shield, download an application here, contact Law at 812/465-1682, or visit The Shield's office in the lower level of UC East, room 227.

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