Ithaca College alum William Earl was recently named the editor of Variety, overseeing online editorial operations.
The Ithacan’s senior writer Antonio Ferme talked with Earl about his time at the college, journalistic values and the state of the movie theater industry. Here is an excerpt:
AF: What core values did you have as a journalist at the college, and how have they evolved throughout your professional career?
WF: One of the more impactful parts of my career was the few years I was the digital director at IndieWire, and a big focus of that publication is giving a spotlight to creators who are often marginalized or might not have the money behind them as big studios. In college, I think I was always searching for, “How can I rise up and tell the truth?” I think in my professional career, I was like, “How can I raise other people up and make it less about myself and more about these cool creators who are doing awesome things, as I now have this luxury of having this amplified voice?”
AF: As the new lead editor of Variety, what values will you hold important as you move into your new role amid COVID-19?
WF: Although the platforms have shifted a little bit as a result of [COVID-19], I have taken values with me from brand to brand. Our company slogan is the power of content. A lot of companies can get distracted by the flashing lights and pretty things of this industry. I think that we really focus on getting journalists great access and giving them a big platform to get scoops out. From a journalistic standpoint, I’m just bringing those values into the new normal versus shifting my values fundamentally.