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Become A Newspaper Editor

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Working As A Newspaper Editor

  • Getting Information
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • Repetitive

  • Stressful

  • $62,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Newspaper Editor Do

Editors plan, review, and revise content for publication.

Duties

Editors typically do the following:

  • Read content and correct spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors
  • Rewrite text to make it easier for readers to understand
  • Verify facts using standard reference sources
  • Evaluate submissions from writers to decide what to publish
  • Work with writers to help their ideas and stories succeed
  • Develop story and content ideas according to the publication’s style and editorial policy
  • Allocate space for the text, photos, and illustrations that make up a story
  • Approve final versions submitted by staff

Editors plan, coordinate, and revise material for publication in books, newspapers, magazines, or 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 perform all of the editorial duties or share them with only a few other people.

The following are examples of types of editors:

Copy editors review 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 for writers, and verify facts, dates, and statistics. In addition, they may arrange page layouts of articles, photographs, and advertising.

Publication assistants who work for book-publishing houses may read and evaluate manuscripts submitted by freelance writers, 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.

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.

Executive editors oversee assistant editors and generally have the final say about what stories are published and how they 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.

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How To Become A Newspaper Editor

A bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism, or English, combined with previous writing and proofreading experience, is typically required to be an editor.

Education

Employers generally prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism, or English. They also prefer candidates with mass- or cross-media experience.

Those with other backgrounds who can show strong writing skills also may find jobs as editors. Editors who deal with specific subject matter may need previous related work experience. For example, fashion editors may need expertise in fashion that they gain through formal training or work experience.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Many editors start off as editorial assistants, writers, or reporters.

Those who are particularly skilled at identifying good stories, recognizing writing talent, and interacting with writers may be interested in editing jobs. 

Other Experience

Editors also can gain experience by working on high school and college newspapers, and for magazines, radio and television stations, advertising and publishing companies, or nonprofit organizations. Magazines and newspapers also have internships for students. For example, the American Society of Magazine Editors offers a Magazine Internship Program to qualified full-time students in their junior or senior year of college. Interns may write stories, conduct research and interviews, and gain general publishing experience.

The ability to use computers is necessary for editors to stay in touch with writers and other editors and to work on the increasingly important digital media or online side of a publication. Familiarity with electronic publishing, graphics, Web design, and multimedia production is also important, because more content is being offered online.

Advancement

Some editors hold management positions and must make decisions related to running a business. For them, advancement generally means moving up to publications with larger circulation or greater prestige. Copy editors may move into original writing or substantive editing positions, or become freelancers.

Important Qualities

Creativity. Editors must be creative, curious, and knowledgeable in a broad range of topics. Some editors must regularly come up with interesting story ideas and attention-grabbing headlines.

Detail oriented. One of an editor’s main tasks is to make sure that material is error free and matches the style of a publication.

Good judgment. Editors must decide if certain stories are ethical or if there is enough evidence to report them.

Interpersonal skills. In working with writers, editors must have tact and the ability to guide and encourage them in their work.

Writing skills. Editors must ensure that all written content has correct grammar, punctuation, and syntax. Editors must be able to write clearly and logically.

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Newspaper Editor Career Paths

Newspaper Editor
Editor Consultant Marketing Manager
Marketing Communications Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Editor Owner Marketing Director
Director Of Marketing And Public Relations
6 Yearsyrs
Editor Project Manager Marketing Director
Director Of Digital Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Reporter Team Leader Property Manager
Assistant Director, Communications
5 Yearsyrs
Reporter Technical Writer Web Developer
Web Content Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Reporter Senior Editor Communications Director
Vice President Of Marketing & Communications
12 Yearsyrs
Writer And Editor Managing Editor Communications Manager
Communications Project Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Writer And Editor Content Writer Staff Writer
Public Information Officer
6 Yearsyrs
Writer And Editor Marketing Specialist Marketing Communications Manager
Content Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Teacher English Instructor Managing Editor
Publications Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Graphic Designer Marketing Coordinator Public Relations Specialist
Media Relations Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Graphic Designer Marketing Specialist Public Relations Manager
Media Relations Director
5 Yearsyrs
Graphic Designer Marketing Specialist Social Media Manager
Manager Of Digital Media
5 Yearsyrs
Copy Editor Managing Editor Content Manager
Senior Content Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Copy Editor Technical Writer Content Manager
Content Director
7 Yearsyrs
Copy Editor Content Writer Content Manager
Digital Content Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Staff Writer Senior Editor
Bureau Chief
7 Yearsyrs
Staff Writer Social Media Manager
Marketing Strategist
6 Yearsyrs
Tutor Writer Freelance Copywriter
Freelance Project Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Magazine Editor Senior Editor Social Media Manager
Digital Communications Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Newspaper Editor?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
News Copy Editor 4.5 years
Editor 2.6 years
News Editor 2.6 years
Associate Editor 2.5 years
Design Editor 2.4 years
Magazine Editor 2.4 years
Assistant Editor 2.0 years
Newspaper Editor 2.0 years
Photography Editor 1.8 years
Art Editor 1.8 years
Yearbook Editor 1.6 years
Co-Editor 1.6 years
Opinion Editor 1.3 years
Top Careers Before Newspaper Editor
Internship 11.5%
Editor 11.5%
Reporter 9.3%
Volunteer 7.4%
Teacher 4.8%
Tutor 3.3%
President 3.3%
Captain 3.3%
Cashier 3.3%
Server 3.0%
Top Careers After Newspaper Editor
Internship 11.3%
Editor 10.4%
Volunteer 9.1%
Reporter 5.0%
Teacher 4.8%
President 4.8%
Cashier 4.5%
Server 4.3%
Assistant 3.9%
Owner 2.4%

Do you work as a Newspaper Editor?

Newspaper Editor Demographics

Gender

Female

51.1%

Male

38.9%

Unknown

10.0%
Ethnicity

White

60.6%

Hispanic or Latino

14.5%

Black or African American

11.3%

Asian

8.9%

Unknown

4.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

38.5%

Chinese

9.6%

Mandarin

9.6%

Portuguese

5.8%

German

5.8%

Japanese

5.8%

Arabic

3.8%

French

3.8%

Swedish

1.9%

Hungarian

1.9%

Romanian

1.9%

Dakota

1.9%

Hindi

1.9%

Urdu

1.9%

Korean

1.9%

Thai

1.9%

Italian

1.9%
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Newspaper Editor Education

Schools

West Virginia University

8.4%

Kent State University

7.2%

University of Missouri - Columbia

7.2%

New York University

6.0%

DePaul University

6.0%

University of Georgia

6.0%

University of Alabama

4.8%

Ohio University -

4.8%

Arizona State University

4.8%

Temple University

4.8%

Texas Tech University

4.8%

Troy University

4.8%

Tufts University

4.8%

Saint Anselm College

3.6%

San Francisco State University

3.6%

Columbia College Chicago

3.6%

Florida Southern College

3.6%

Andrews University

3.6%

Texas A&M University

3.6%

Florida State University

3.6%
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Majors

Journalism

20.4%

English

14.0%

Communication

14.0%

Business

6.6%

Public Relations

5.3%

Psychology

4.3%

Political Science

3.9%

Writing

3.7%

Graphic Design

3.2%

Marketing

3.2%

Agricultural Public Services

3.0%

Fine Arts

2.5%

Computer Science

2.5%

Education

2.3%

Photography

2.1%

Finance

2.1%

Liberal Arts

1.8%

Management

1.8%

History

1.8%

Elementary Education

1.6%
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Degrees

Bachelors

53.7%

Other

20.5%

Masters

15.2%

Associate

5.2%

Certificate

3.0%

Doctorate

1.7%

Diploma

0.6%
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Top Skills for A Newspaper Editor

  1. Student Newspaper
  2. News Stories
  3. Adobe Photoshop
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Superintended production of student newspaper.
  • Edited content for the online site and wrote news stories and editorial pieces as needed.
  • Focused upon and wrote numerous feature articles for commercial advertising clientele.
  • Established operational procedures to insure maximum performance of local staff and correspondents working with Foster's design/editorial staff in seacoast office.
  • Supervised and assigned stories to reporters, freelance writers and photographers.

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