Staff Q&As: Meet niche publications editor April Trotter

To help you get to know our newsroom staff a bit better, a series of question-and-answer posts with each journalist will run on Mondays. This morning, meet niche publications and Smart magazine editor April Trotter. She’s the woman behind all things Smart — Facebook, Twitter, the website, the weekly e-newsletter, the print magazine and Pinterest. She also blogs on Twenty & Change.

Name: April Trotter
Lives in: New Cumberland (Fairview Township)
Hometown: Falls, Pa., which is in that whole Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area of northeastern Pennsylvania
Position at the YDR: Niche publications editor and editor of Smart
Years with the YDR: I started in my current position in June, and I first came to YDR as a multiplatform journalist in the features department in August 2011.
Graduated from:  Penn State 2007 and Shippensburg University 2012
With a degree in: Journalism and communications studies
Twitter: @apriltrotter, @SmartMagPA
Email: atrotter@ydr.com
Whatever you’d like to tell us about yourself: I play on a kickball team (shout out to Pitch, Please!). My favorite song of all time is “Bennie and the Jets.” I own more cardigans than anyone I know. And I’ve been known to still use my student ID to get mean retail discounts.

1. What made you want to become a journalist? I spent the first half of my college career as a biochemistry major. After interning in a lab the summer before my junior year — where I single-handedly caused global warming by breeding beetles and releasing them into the wild — I had a major change of heart. I was involved in my high school newspaper and helped introduce a Daily Collegian branch to Penn State Wilkes-Barre, so I always had an appreciation for journalism and knack for writing. Thankfully I had some awesome professors at PSU that helped mold the direction I wanted to go in and I quickly found my niche in copy editing/page design.

2. How do you see journalism changing? I think social media and blogging and other new technologies have forced journalism as an institution to be more transparent and interact with readers more, which is definitely a good thing.

3. What do you like most about your job? I love the planning-really-far-in-advance aspect of working with Smart. Thinking about stories and photos up to a year out really suits my Type-A personality. The least? The giant file cabinet full of unorganized magazines I inherited from former Smart editor Kara Eberle.

4. It’s 9:30 a.m. on a day off. What are you doing? Probably sleeping, unless a fun road trip is planned.

5. What’s been your favorite project or story recently? Why? I’m currently working on the September/October issue of Smart and have been working with Denatia Palmer, Miss Black Pennsylvania 2012, and Brown’s Orchard for our cover. It’s a lot of fun to watch all the elements of a photo shoot come together. And I have enjoyed watching all the stories from Smart’s awesome team of writers roll in. There are a lot of great home, family and self stories in this next issue.

6. The drink that’s on your desk right now is: Water or coffee — always

7. Your favorite journalism-related blog you read or Twitter feed you follow: I really like to look at Charles Apple’s blog (http://apple.copydesk.org/), which focuses on the visual side of journalism and always features amazing designs. On Twitter, I follow Overheard in the Newsroom (http://twitter.com/#!/OHnewsroom) because it is ridiculous and makes me laugh out loud at least once a day.

8. What’s the last movie you saw in theaters? The last book you read? Movie: “Ted,” which made me cry (I was so nervous that the bear died … spoiler alert: he doesn’t)  Book: “Bright Shiny Morning” by James Frey

9. What’s your favorite place in York County? I love visiting Central Market and making an obligatory stop at the Just Cupcakes stand.

10. What’s one piece of newsroom jargon that had to be explained to you? I totally googled what a magazine “department” was after visual editor Brad Jennings dropped it during a conversation (Smart has three). [Editor's note: A "department" is another name for a section of content. Smart's three are family, home and self.]


Last week, we ran a Q&A with assistant sports and GameTimePA.com editor Lyzz Jones. To read all of the staff Q&A interviews we’ve done so far, click on the “Staff Q&As” under “About us” at the top of the homepage. Wondering where former Smart editor Kara Eberle ended up? She moved into the metro department to become day metro editor.

About Sarah Chain

I'm an avid reader and book lover living and working in downtown York. Follow me on Twitter at @sarahEchain.
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