Media / Digital Media
Editors plan, review, and revise content for publication in newspapers and magazines, books and online publications and websites.
What does an Editor do?
Editors plan, review, and revise content for publication. Editors work in newspaper and magazine publishing, book publishing, and increasingly, with online publications and websites.
As an editor, you would:
- prepare, rewrite and edit copy to improve readability, or supervise others who do this work
- verify facts, dates, and statistics
- read copy or proof to detect and correct errors in spelling, punctuation, and syntax
- develop story or content ideas, considering reader or audience appeal
- review and approve proofs prior to publication production
- supervise and coordinate work of reporters and other editors.
As a website or online editor, you would also:
- research, write and check the images, text and other media published on your employer's website
- upload material on to the website, often using a content management system (CMS)
- monitor and post replies to online message boards and deal with email enquiries
- keep track of developments in web technology and good practice, for example website accessibility issues
- create and monitor social media output and feedback.
Key skills and interests
To become an editor, you would need:
- a sound knowledge of English grammar and high level of literacy
- an eye for detail
- the ability to concentrate on written work for long periods
- good general knowledge
- good organisational skills
- the ability to produce detailed and accurate work, often to tight deadlines
- an aptitude for using computers.
Working hours and conditions
Editors who work in publishing organisations would typically work full time, although part-time work should be readily available. Many editors are self employed and work on a project by project basis.
Although most editors work in offices, a growing number work remotely from home. The work can be stressful because editors often have tight deadlines.
How to become an Editor?
Entry Level Education
To become an editor you usually have to complete a VET qualification in professional writing and editing or arts (professional writing). You may be able to study through distance education.
Your employment prospects may be improved if you have a degree in communications, journalism, professional writing, or English. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent with English.
The Institute of Professional Editors (IPEd) runs a professional accreditation scheme, details of which can be found on its website.
People usually proceed to the position of editor through the various stages of journalism, or from roles as editorial assistants with publishing companies. Editors therefore have a great deal of on-the-job experience.
Editors are expected to be familiar with computers, including word processing software, publishing layout programmes, and increasingly, online editing software.
Employment of editors is projected to show little or no change, as print media continues to face strong pressure from online publications.
Despite some job growth for editors in online media, the number of traditional editing jobs in print newspapers and magazines is declining and will temper overall employment growth.