Newspaper Editor Careers

How to become Newspaper Editor

What does a Newspaper Editor do?

News or periodical editors are responsible for the style and content of publications, and may oversee a whole publication or an individual section. Editors chair meetings to decide which articles will be included and how they will be laid out for publishing. There are specific editorial roles such as:

  • specialist editing of a particular section such as features or sport
  • sub-editor - checking and correcting articles, and writing headlines and captions
  • copy-editor - checking articles for consistency and style
  • production editor - overseeing the production process
  • art or picture editor - responsible for a publication’s visual content.
Magazines use commissioning editors, who consider submissions for inclusion from freelance journalists, photographers and illustrators. Editors of local newspapers may help to write and sub-edit the publication, while on larger titles the role may be purely editorial. Some also have responsibility for other matters such as budgetary control, hiring staff and liaising with advertising and production departments.

What's the working environment like working as a Newspaper Editor?

Editors work long and irregular hours, including evenings and weekends. In newspapers some shift-work may be involved.

The work is office based.

What does it take to become a Newspaper Editor?

To be an editor you should have:

  • a good command of English with strong writing and IT skills
  • planning, organisational and staff management skills
  • creativity and good visual sense
  • financial skills and commercial flair
  • some legal knowledge regarding the content of publications
  • an eye for detail and the ability to implement change where necessary
  • an understanding of target audiences
  • negotiating and decision-making skills.

Newspaper Editor Career Opportunities

Competition for jobs is fierce in all areas of journalism, particularly on national newspapers and popular consumer magazines. The magazine industry is mainly based in London and the South-east.

Employment may be available with contract publishers who work with a number of different clients, and some large companies, particularly in the retail or service sectors which produce regular publications of their own. Many editors work on a freelance basis, and overseas employment is possible.

Experience is essential for promotion. A sub-editor may become the overall editor of a title, and local newspaper editors often move on to regional and then national publications. Successful editors may also progress to become editors-in-chief of a group of newspapers, or magazine publishers, although these positions are rare and depend on the size of the publisher. Commissioning editors may become editorial managers or directors, publishers, or move into specialist areas.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Newspaper Editor that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

The Publishing Training Centre at Book House
45 East Hill
SW18 2QZ
Tel: 020 8874 2718

National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ)
Latton Bush Centre
Southern Way
CM18 7BL
Tel: 01279 430009

Periodicals Publishers Association (PPA)
Queens House
28 Kingsway
Tel: 020 7404 4166

The Publishers Association
29B Montague Street
Tel: 020 7691 9191

The Newspaper Society
Bloomsbury House
74-77 Great Russell Street
Tel: 020 7636 7014

European Medical Writers Association

Facts and Stats:

  • There are one million people in the sales profession, excluding retail sales

  • Half of all sales people are in business-to-business sales.

  • Until something is sold, nothing happens (think about it).
  • The sales process in company IT may take three years.

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