Editors ensure the written quality of print and online publications. Their duties might include reading manuscripts, making sure that a writer's formatting fits house style guidelines, correcting grammatical or factual errors and making suggestions for improvement. They may also be responsible for selecting articles or manuscripts for publication, assisting with design layout and overseeing other aspects of publication.
Content Editors are responsible for all aspects of content, which includes development, design, production, presentation, evaluation, and analysis. They will use data and feedback from users to help evaluate and enhance the value of a set of written materials and websites.
Prepare, rewrite and edit copy to improve readability, or supervise others who do this work.
Read copy or proof to detect and correct errors in spelling, punctuation, and syntax.
Allocate print space for story text, photos, and illustrations according to space parameters and copy significance, using knowledge of layout principles.
Plan the contents of publications according to the publication's style, editorial policy, and publishing requirements.
Verify facts, dates, and statistics, using standard reference sources.
Review and approve proofs submitted by composing room prior to publication production.
Develop story or content ideas, considering reader or audience appeal.
Oversee publication production, including artwork, layout, computer typesetting, and printing, ensuring adherence to deadlines and budget requirements.
Comply with media law and ethical guidelines.
Meet deadlines and budget requirements
Arrange for copyright permissions.
Make manuscript acceptance or revision recommendations to the publisher.
The first step to becoming an editor involves identifying and pursuing specific editorial work. Prospective editors should identify what type of editorial work they wish to do. For example, fashion magazine editors should have an interest in fashion, whereas book editors should enjoy literature. Other specialty areas include medical and legal publishing. Identifying the industry in which one wants to work may help prospective editors determine what training they need.
The second step to becoming an editor centers around earning a bachelor's degree. A college education is required for most editing jobs. Although it's possible for someone who demonstrates strong writing and editorial skills to train on the job, a bachelor's degree in English, communications or journalism is often a prerequisite for one seeking to become an editor.
The third step to becoming an editor involves acquiring supplemental skills. Since most editing is done on a computer, prospective editors also might take classes in computers, graphic design, and Web content management, which can help them to better understand specific editing issues, such as layouts and character limits. Because more and more manuscripts are being submitted in electronic format, it's important for editors to have a working understanding of computers and editing software.
The fourth step to becoming an editor consists of gaining work experience. Entry-level editorial positions in publishing houses or with news organizations can allow aspiring editors to gain professional experience. Recent graduates often start out as editorial assistants or may begin their careers as writers and then advance to work under, or as, an editor-in-chief.
An associate degree in professional writing and editing builds professional writing and editing skills in students. Students will develop a solid grounding in the use of language, grammar, and punctuation, which will assist them writing, proofreading, and editing.
A bachelor’s degree in journalism provides a solid education for anyone wishing to work as an editor. Journalism programs require students to learn graphic design, story writing, and copyediting. Students also take courses in media ethics and media law. Journalism students also often serve as writers and editors for the school newspaper, and that experience transfers well to the professional world.
A master’s degree in Writing, Editing, and Publishing locates you in a rich arts environment with a strong vocational emphasis. You will learn how to write and edit academic papers, business documents, fiction, non-fiction, review, and many other genres. You will also gain knowledge about the ever-changing landscape of the international publishing industries.