Newspaper and Periodical Editor

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Overview of Editor

Book & Script Editor
Editorial Assistant
Proof Reader
Web Editor

Related Jobs or Working with these Jobs

 

 

 

Overview of Editor

Editors plan, review, and revise content for publication. Editors work in newspaper and magazine publishing, book publishing, and increasingly, with online publications and websites.

Specialisations:

Associate Editor - directs the preparation of a section of a newspaper, magazine or other non-book publication, and may also hire casual staff and approve staff leave and expenses. Associate editors may also work as news editors, directing the gathering, selecting and editing of news for newspapers, news agencies, television or radio news reports, or public affairs programmes. They sometimes work in the field gathering information.

Book Editor - prepares book manuscripts for publication. They may work with authors to ensure manuscripts are suitable for publication. They may also liaise with and direct graphic designers and printers to take books through to final production. They are sometimes known as copy editors.

Chief Sub-editor - monitors the pages of a newspaper or magazine and sorts through the articles to decide on those that will be included.

Commissioning Editor - seeks out new books for publication and may manage their progress through the production process.

Proofreader - checks typeset proofs and/or computer printouts to detect errors in typesetting or keyboarding before the final printing of a publication.

Senior Sub-editor - writes headlines to fit the space allocated to a story or copy, decides on the layout of photographs and drawings, contributes to the design of the publication and generates new ideas. It is advantageous for senior sub-editors to have knowledge of computer design programmes.

Sub-editor - works for associate editors of magazines and newspapers to assess the suitability of reports and articles for publication, and edits them as necessary. They may arrange the production of photographs or illustrations and liaise with printers to achieve the desired effect.

 

Editors work in-house for commercial publishers or in publication units within government departments and other organisations. They may also work for organisations that produce publications such as newspapers or magazines. Experienced book editors may work on a freelance or contract basis. Some may form independent publishing houses.

In recent years, the publishing industry has seen a number of mergers and rationalisation of print production. There are now far fewer newspapers and publishing houses to provide entry into the profession. Technological advances have also changed the industry.

Only a few openings occur in publishing houses each year and competition for them is high. It is sometimes possible to enter publishing from an affiliated field, such as desktop publishing, teaching or printing. Advancement is dependent on a keen business and marketing sense, as well as capacity for hard work.

 

Newspaper and Periodical Editor
  Information, Media and Telecommunications

Artistic or CreativeClerical or OrganisingSkill Level 4Skill Level 5

Newspaper editors [& Magazine/Periodical editors] have the daily responsibility of deciding which news stories are printed in the paper/magazine. Newspaper or Periodical Editors plan and direct editing of publications, such as newspapers, magazines or journals, in accordance with editorial policies and guidelines and accepted rules of grammar, style and format prior to printing and distribution.

Long before the paper is published, the editor assigns reporters to cover the news, checks for accuracy and fairness in the newspaper's articles and writes headlines. It is not unusual for a newspaper editor to have worked as a journalist or proofreader before becoming an editor. Future Growth Static

ANZSCO ID: 212412

Specialisations: Features Editor, News Editor, Pictures Editor, Subeditor, Website/Blog Editor

Knowledge, skills and attributes

  • planning, organisational and staff management skills

  • a good command of English with strong writing and IT skills

  • creativity and good visual sense

  • financial skills

  • an eye for detail

  • an understanding of target audiences

  • negotiating and decision-making skills

  • strong interest in current events,

  • ability to thrive under deadlines,

  • experience with desktop publishing programs 

Editor at work

 

Duties and Tasks

Depending on the publication you work for as an editor, your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • commissioning articles

  • choosing which articles to publish

  • deciding how they’ll be laid out for publishing

  • assessing work sent from freelance journalists, photographers and illustrators

  • Makes decisions about the specific content of publications in conjunction with other senior editors and in accordance with editorial policies and guidelines.

  • Reviews copy for publications to ensure conformity with accepted rules of grammar, style and format, coherence of story, and accuracy, legality and probity of content.


You’ll work with sub-editors, designers, production staff and printers to make sure publication deadlines are met.

On smaller titles you might help to write and sub-edit.

On larger titles you'll just have editor duties.

You may also look after other areas like budget control, hiring staff and working with advertising and production departments. (Source: UK National Career Service)

 

Job Duties and Tasks for: "Editor"

  • 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.

  •  Confer with management and editorial staff members regarding placement and emphasis of developing news stories.

  •  Read, evaluate and edit manuscripts or other materials submitted for publication and confer with authors regarding changes in content, style or organization, or publication.

  •  Monitor news-gathering operations to ensure utilization of all news sources, such as press releases, telephone contacts, radio, television, wire services, and other reporters.

  •  Meet frequently with artists, typesetters, layout personnel, marketing directors, and production managers to discuss projects and resolve problems.

  •  Supervise and coordinate work of reporters and other editors.

  •  Make manuscript acceptance or revision recommendations to the publisher.

  •  Select local, state, national, and international news items received from wire services, based on assessment of items' significance and interest value.

  •  Interview and hire writers and reporters or negotiate contracts, royalties, and payments for authors or freelancers.

  •  Direct the policies and departments of newspapers, magazines and other publishing establishments.

  •  Arrange for copyright permissions.

  •  Read material to determine index items and arrange them alphabetically or topically, indicating page or chapter location. (Source: Career Planner)


Did You Know?

The Conversation

 

Working conditions

If you work for a daily or weekly publication you’ll usually work irregular hours, including evenings and weekends.

If you work for a monthly publication or a specialist trade journal, you’ll usually work normal office hours, but with some overtime leading up to publication deadlines.

Your work will be mainly office-based. You may need to travel to meet clients and reporters. (Source: UK National Career Service)

Tools and technologies

Editors are expected to be familiar with computers, including word processing software for editing and publishing layout programmes for typesetting.


Education and training/entrance requirements

The profession is open to non-graduates, but most entrants do have degrees or related qualifications. The role of editor is not an entry-level position, so you will need previous experience and a certain amount of training, obtained either through a degree or on the job.

Some specialist magazines and newspapers, such as those in the business or science sectors, do require a degree in a relevant subject. Postgraduate qualifications are useful, but are not essential. A postgraduate qualification in journalism is helpful if your undergraduate degree is in an unrelated subject.

Additional Information

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 newspaper editor through the various stages of journalism. Newspaper editors therefore have a great deal of on-the-job experience.

If you have spent some time as an editorial assistant with a publishing company, it may be possible to progress to the position of book editor. After working in other sections of a publishing firm (as a secretary or sales representative, for example), you may be able to move into a trainee editorial position.

Did You Know?

Clara Seekamp

Clara Seekamp was an Irish single mother of three who became the de-facto wife of Henry Seekamp, editor of "The Ballarat Times" at the time of the Eureka Stockade. Together, they ran the profitable printing and publishing business until Henry was jailed for sedition after the Stockade, making Clara Australia’s first female newspaper editor.
(Source: Dr Clare Wright, The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka cited in The Conversation)

Clara Seekamp to Governor Hotham, New Year's Day 1855:
Who are the foreigners? Where are the foreigners? What is it that constitutes a foreigner? ...

Poor Governor Hotham! Could you not have found some other more truthful excuse for all the illegal and even murderous excesses committed by your soldiery and butchers? ...

Why did you disregard our memorials and entreaties, our prayers and cries for justice and protection against your unjust stewards here, until the people, sickened by hope deferred, and maddened by continued and increased acts of oppression, were driven to take up arms in self-defence?’
Clare Wright, The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka Text Publishing 2013 p.438


Want to know more about the Eureka Stockade? Look at Peter Lalor's page.

Like to know about the Historian Clare Wright?, click here.

Book & Script Editor
   Information, Media and Telecommunications

Clerical or OrganisingAnalytic or ScientificSkill Level 5Skill Level 6

Book or Script Editors evaluate manuscripts of books or scripts to determine suitability for publication or production, and edit and supervise material in preparation for publication or for production on film, television, radio or stage. FutureGrowthModerateBook or Script Editors are responsible for selecting, reviewing, correcting and formatting content for publication. Behind every book, magazine or newspaper published in WA, you'll find a team of editors. They decide what to publish depending on market trends and audience requirements and edit copy (textual material to be published) to ensure it is free from errors and that it conforms to publication style guidelines. Many editors also decide on the format or design of publications and write articles.

ANZSCO ID: 212212

Specialisations: Script Coordinator

Knowledge, skills and attributes           

Duties and Tasks

  • Reviews and evaluates manuscripts of novels, biographies, short stories, poems, educational texts and other books, and ensures coherence of style and development of theme, plot and characterisation.

  • Advises publishers about potential of works for publication and conditions of publication contract.

  • Negotiates publication details such as royalties, publication dates and numbers of copies to be printed.

  • Reviews and assesses stories and other material for film, television, radio and stage productions.

  • Directs the preparation of scripts to be read by announcers to introduce and connect parts of musicals, news, sports and special events programmes.

Working conditions

Book or Script Editors work for publishing houses and other organisations requiring editing services. They tend to work in offices, usually in city centres, but may have to do some travelling to liaise with authors or attend publication launches, fairs and conferences. Many editors work freelance, so may work from home. They tend to work normal hours, but are sometimes required to work long hours and on weekends to meet publication deadlines.

Tools and technologies

Book or Script Editors are expected to be familiar with computers, including word processing software for editing and publishing layout programmes for typesetting. Book or Script Editors may scribble or mark paper copy, but the majority of their work is done through computer programs designed specifically for editing and formatting publications. While Book or Script Editors do not work with printing equipment, it is important for them to understand how the process works. Available printing equipment and materials, such as colour dyes, and their cost often influence what can and cannot be done in the layout and design of a publication. Book or Script Editors also use style manuals, reference books and manuals to ensure accuracy and consistency in their work.

Education and training/entrance requirements

You usually need a bachelor or postgraduate degree in writing, literature or another related field to work as a Book or Script Editor. It is also common to complete postgraduate studies.

 

 

Editorial Assistant
   Information, Media and Telecommunications

Clerical or OrganisingAnalytic or ScientificSkill Level 4Skill Level 5

Editorial assistants support editorial staff in the production and publishing of journals, magazines, books and digital products. Future Growth Static

ANZSCO ID: 212499

Alternative names: Assistant

Knowledge, skills and attributes     

To become an editorial assistant, you would need:

  • excellent verbal and written communication skills

  • a high level of accuracy and attention to detail

  • the ability to work well under pressure and meet deadlines

  • strong time management skills

  • teamworking skills

  • proficiency with administrative, design and page layout software.      

Editorial Assistant at computer
(Source: Grand Canyon University)

 

Duties and Tasks

As an editorial assistant, you would:

  • work with marketing staff, designers and printers

  • liaise with authors and freelance writers

  • research and working with digital images

  • keep databases, spreadsheets and other records up to date

  • proof and check the accuracy of articles and documents

  • proofing, editing and uploading information for websites and social media

  • deal with rights and permissions

  • plan and organise publication projects

  • set up interviews

  • use page layout software.

Working conditions

You would normally work standard hours, Monday to Friday. You may need to be flexible and work longer hours to meet publication deadlines. You would normally be office-based, although working from home could also be a possibility due to the growth in digital publishing.

Tools and technologies

Editorial Assistants are expected to be familiar with computers, including word processing software for editing and publishing layout programmes for typesetting.

Education and training/entrance requirements

A bachelor's degree is a necessary requirement for most editorial assistant positions. Journalism, English or communications would be relevant subjects to study at university. To get into these degrees, you would usually need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent.

Employment Opportunities

The majority of would-be editors begin their careers as editorial assistants, progressing through the editorial ranks once relevant skills and experience have been gained.

 

 

Proof Reader
   Information, Media and Telecommunications

Clerical or OrganisingAnalytic or ScientificSkill Level 3Skill Level 4Skill Level 5

Proof Readers read draft copies and proofs, detect errors and mark corrections to grammar, typing and composition. Future Growth StaticProofreaders are responsible for detecting and correcting errors in written documents. Their job description entails checking written text for misspellings and inaccuracies prior to publishing. Proof Readers verify the accuracy of page numbers, headings, and captions, as well as consistency of spelling and grammar.

ANZSCO ID: 599913

Alternative names: Proofreader

Knowledge, skills and attributes      

The qualities you need to succeed in this job include attention to details, teamwork, skills, and grammar/spelling skills. Proof Readers use specialized software to make corrections on printed proofs. In fulfilling their role, proofreaders maintain up-to-date knowledge of new terminologies, as well as changes in language standards.    

Duties and TasksProof Reader

  • Reviews, proofs and edits content (written or digital) across a variety of media and industries; ensuring correct spelling, grammar, punctuation, syntax, usage, consistency and brand voice in the final product.

  • Ensures the accuracy of all referenced facts (e.g. dates, pages and values) and double-checks cross-referenced materials (e.g. websites and newspapers).

  • Reviews content and style across company-wide work to ensure campaign, product and brand consistency.

  • Attends team meetings, provides constructive editorial input and communicates with team members to yield consistent, accurate and high-quality work products.

  • Improves editing processes by evaluating and recommending changes to create efficiencies.

  • Proofreaders read manuscripts before they are typeset to find and correct mistakes; they read through typescripts to detect and highlight typographical or grammatical error.

  • They also read original copies of a manuscript against typeset proof to catch typing mistakes.

  • Proofreaders check typeset documents to ensure the publisher used the font style, size, and text spacing specified on the original copy by a page designer.

  • Making corrections on written text using special marks which are standard and recognized in the printing and publishing industry.

  • Make copies of proofs which are given to editors, authors, and others for revision.

  • Proofreaders usually mark corrections by editors or authors on a master set of proofs which are returned to typesetters for correction.

  • After correction by typesetters, proofreaders check typeset proof against reviewed copies one final time before printing.

  • In performing their duties, proofreaders check images, tables, and charts contained in a document to ensure they are precise and properly aligned.

  • Liaise with writers and editors to determine the composition of specific texts in a document

  • Compare typeset proofs against original copy to identify errors or omission

  • Evaluate the dimensions of page elements such as images, text spacing and positioning to ensure they conform to set specifications

  • Ensure page numbers are in the right order and not repeated or omitted

  • Analyze documents to ensure chapter titles match list of contents

  • Use symbols which are standard and recognized by printing and publishing companies

  • Mark corrections highlighted by editors/authors and ensure they reflect on the master set proof

  • Rephrase written text to ensure document structure and content are consistent

  • Ensure illustrations are suitably captioned and referenced

  • Contact authors directly to clarify grammatical inconsistencies related to style and text choice

  • Forward proofread materials for approval and publication

  • Ensure project is completed within set time constraints.

Proofreaders, as part of their duties, perform copyediting functions – depending on the project – they may be required to reword or rewrite a text. They put up missing or misplaced punctuation to make an article coherent and comprehensible.

Proofreading
(Source: Thesis Link)

Working conditions

They usually report and present articles to Chief Editor for approval, and also analyze documents for consistency in capitalization, hyphenation, and formatting. They need to stay abreast with grammatical development as well as new terminologies in a language

Tools and technologies

Proof Readers are required to use computers for tracking changes to a document for the Editor. They use word processors and other specialized software to make changes on typeset documents

Education and training/entrance requirements

You can work as a Proof Reader without formal qualifications, however, they may be useful. A university or Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification in communications, media, literature or journalism might be helpful.

 

Web Editor
   Information, Media and Telecommunications

Clerical or OrganisingAnalytic or ScientificSkill Level 5

Web Editors are usually responsible for the content and images used on a website. Similarly to content editors, they plan, research, write copy and edit the content of a website. Future Growth Very Strong

Knowledge, skills and attributes   

To become a web 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.     

Web Editor
(Source: Talent Lyft)

Duties and Tasks

As a website or online editor, you would:

  • research, write and check the images, text and other media published on your employer's website

  • Create, produce and manage high-quality content

  • Build relationships with clients and team members

  • Supervisevisual layout of content

  • Regularly check and track content for accuracy

  • Edit, proofread and suggest improvements to written content

  • Work in a multidisciplinary team of web designers, marketing executives and photographers

  • Adhere to SEO rules

  • Use Social Media for better presence

  • Comply with copyright and privacy regulations

  • Determine and track important KPIs

  • Track and analyze website’s traffic

  • Produce and present reports

  • Keep abreast with new trends in web technology

  • 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

Working conditions

Web 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.

Tools and technologies

Web Editors are expected to be familiar with computers, including word processing software, publishing layout programmes, and increasingly, online editing software.

Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a web 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.

Employment Opportunities

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.



 

 

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