Editors typically do the following:
Editors plan, coordinate, and revise material for publication in books, newspapers, or periodicals or on websites. Editors review story ideas and decide what material will appeal most to readers. During the review process, editors offer comments to improve the product and suggest titles and headlines. In smaller organizations, a single editor may do all the editorial duties or share them with only a few other people.
The following are examples of types of editors:
Assistant editors are responsible for a particular subject, such as local news, international news, feature stories, or sports. Most assistant editors work for newspaper publishers, television broadcasters, magazines, book publishers, or advertising and public relations firms.
Copy editors proofread text for errors in grammar, punctuation, and spelling and check for readability, style, and agreement with editorial policy. They suggest revisions, such as changing words and rearranging sentences and paragraphs to improve clarity or accuracy. They also may carry out research, confirm sources, and verify facts, dates, and statistics. In addition, they may arrange page layouts of articles, photographs, and advertising.
Executive editors oversee assistant editors and generally have the final say about which stories are published and how those stories are covered. Executive editors typically hire writers, reporters, and other employees. They also plan budgets and negotiate contracts with freelance writers, who are sometimes called “stringers” in the news industry. Although many executive editors work for newspaper publishers, some work for television broadcasters, magazines, or advertising and public relations firms.
Managing editors typically work for magazines, newspaper publishers, and television broadcasters and are responsible for the daily operations of a news department.
Publication assistants who work for book-publishing houses may read and evaluate manuscripts, proofread uncorrected drafts, and answer questions about published material. Assistants on small newspapers or in smaller media markets may compile articles available from wire services or the Internet, answer phones, and proofread articles.
Employers generally prefer candidates who have a bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism, or English.
Candidates with other backgrounds who can show strong writing skills also may find jobs as editors. Editors who deal with specific subject matter may need related work experience. For example, fashion editors may need expertise in fashion that they gain through formal training or work experience.