everyone needs an editor, and this editor is for everyone

by s.

Press Releases For People I Know
For Immediate Release
November 12, 2011

In a world filled with content aggregators and free “user-generated” content, the role of the journalist appears to grow smaller every day. The recent resurgence of long-form nonfiction collections such as Byliner and The Atavist has helped to create new discovery tools for real writers, but these channels grow at a much slower rate than the mainstream ones are disappearing. Lost, too, is a certain art form that we call editing: who will shape our words in remarkable ways without proper editors?

In the increasing efforts to illustrate the hazards of unedited life, the Department for the Betterment of Humankind is pleased to announce the appointment of Rebecca Orchant to the role of Senior Content Editor of Life. Orchant’s career is steeped in tradition, originating in a role at PR Newswire, where she learned to craft and edit marketing copy and press releases. (Orchant will remain lead editor of all PR & marketing communications for the Department of the Betterment of Humankind, save for this press release which has been withheld from her for fear of “modesty-editing.”) Additionally, Orchant’s past work in online advertising, video, and content marketing has given her a uniquely honed sense of voice in the digital space.

The breadth of Orchant’s past work, and a large portion of her new role at DBH, will take place not in the form of ordinary line edits and article generation, but in working with DBH staff, readers, and people all over the world to help carefully curate matters of the heart and mind.

What does the role of the editor look like when brought to the masses? For DBH and for Orchant, it’s an opportunity to take “user-generated content” and turn it into something meaningful from a personal and community perspective. “This is a country of communities that need help organizing, help mobilizing and help recovering,” says Orchant, who sees her role as implicitly and necessarily political. By working closely with website and newspaper contributors and meeting with members of diverse population segments, Orchant hopes to cultivate not only a range of creative work that represents the masses, but to educate the population on the role and the value of that work in their communities through a unique “ground-up” approach.

In conjunction with Orchant’s appointment, DBH will launch a series of writer’s workships, seminars covering everything from time management to creative pay scales to effective email communications, and one-on-one “life editing” sessions designed to help people recognize the value of words in their everyday lives. All events will take place in New York, San Francisco, and Seattle, with a second set of cities to be announced in early 2013. All are free and open to the public.

The DBH is pleased to announce that the role of Senior Content Editor of Life is ever-evolving under Rebecca Orchant’s direction. Future hires in the department will be named at a later date. For interview requests, samples of Orchant’s work, & other inquiries, please email S. Flynn at mcpickleseditsyourlife@gmail.com.