What does a Editor do?

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Editors plan, revise, and coordinate material for publication in newspapers, magazines, books, or websites. They review story ideas and determine what material is most likely to please readers and offer suggestions to improve the product and suggest headlines and titles. Most editors work in offices. However, it is becoming more common for editors to work remotely. This occupation has a lot of stress because of deadline requirements.

Watch a video to learn what an editor does:

How to Become an Editor

Editors typically need a bachelor’s degree in English, communications, or journalism. They are also expected to have previous proofreading and writing experience. Employers desire applicants with cross- or mass-media experience. Some editors employed in a specific area, like fashion, may also need expertise in fashion that they would have gained from work experience or formal training. Many editors begin their career as reporters, editorial assistants, or writers.

Job Description of an Editor

Editors read content and correct grammatical errors, spelling, and punctuation. They may rewrite the text so an audience may easily understand what has been written. They must verify facts with standard reference sources and evaluate submissions from writers so they can determine what to publish.

Editors work with writers and help their stories and ideas succeed by offering comments, advice, and encouragement on ways to improve. They may also suggest headlines and titles that might strike a reader’s attention. An editor would allocate space for the illustrations, text, and photos that make up the material for the story and approve the final versions of the product submitted by the staff as well. There are different areas for editors to work in such as managing editors, copy editors, executive editors, and assistant editors.

Editor Career Video Transcript

A combination of creativity, writing skills and detailed orientation help editors sharpen the quality of writing for all different types of media. Editors plan and revise content for publication in books, newspapers, magazines, or websites. They review story ideas and decide what material will appeal most to readers, and comment on how to improve it. In smaller organizations, a single editor may perform all of the editorial duties or share them with only a few other people. There are several types of editors: Copy editors proofread text for errors and check for readability, style, and ensure it meets the publication’s policies. They may confirm sources or verify facts, and arrange page layouts. Publication assistants at book-publishing houses evaluate manuscripts and proofread drafts. Those employed by small newspapers often answer phones and proofread articles.

Assistant editors are responsible for a particular subject such as local news or sports. Executive editors typically have the final say about what is published, and oversee hiring. Managing editors work for magazines, newspapers and television broadcasters, and oversee daily operations for the news department. Most editors work full-time schedules in offices, though working from home is increasingly common. Coordinating multiple projects under high-pressure deadlines can be challenging, and may require workweeks longer than 40 hours. Employers generally prefer a bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism, or English, along with media experience. For some positions, strong writing skills from reporting or writing, maybe enough.

Article Citations

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Editors.

National Center for O*NET Development. 27-3041.00. O*NET OnLine.

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