What Is a News Editor?

Research what it takes to become a news editor. Learn about employment options in news editing, what kind of education is needed, an editor's daily duties and average annual salary data to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Children`s Book Illustration degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is A News Editor?

A news editor curates and reviews content by other journalists to be published online, in newspapers or other forms of print media. Their job duties including editing, proofreading, reaching out to journalists for stories, organizing a team of writers and possibly creating their own original content. It is important for editors to have strong organizational abilities as well as impeccable written communication skills because they're generally responsible for many different articles or pieces at once, particularly if they hold a senior position. Editors may also need to verify facts provided by their writers, requiring them to have the same research and interviewing skills as journalists. The following chart gives an overview of news editing.

Degree Required Bachelor's
Education Field of Study Journalism, Communications, English
Key Responsibilities Checking for errors, deciding what stories to assign, sometimes supervising
Projected Job Outlook (2014-24) -5% (decline) for all editors*
Average Salary (May 2015) $64,060 for newspaper, periodical, book and directory editors*, $57,930 for radio and TV editors*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What Will I Do as a News Editor?

News editing includes close analysis of articles and videos for grammatical errors, factual errors and general content. News editors also make decisions regarding what stories will be pursued and how stories will be presented. You may be required to oversee a team of writers who report directly to you with their work. In some cases, you may be required to write news pieces yourself.

As you progress within this profession, your duties might shift from hands-on editing to managing a team of editors. At some newspapers and news magazines, there are editors who are responsible for specific sections, including regional news, national news and international news. At smaller news organizations, news editors can act as managers of the business; if you work at one of these places, you may manage hiring, complete budgeting and oversee numerous other operational tasks.

What Could I Earn?

As of May 2015, editors across all fields earned an annual mean wage of $64,910, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This included those working for newspapers, book publishers and many other employers of editors. Print editors, including editors in newspapers, periodicals and books, had a mean annual wage of $64,060. Editors in radio and television broadcasting had a slightly lower mean annual wage, which was $57,930 at that time. The highest-paying state for editors was the District of Columbia, followed by New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts.

What Type of Education Will I Need?

You won't need a degree from one specific field for a career as a news editor. However, many employers prefer applicants with bachelor's degrees, and several degree fields are relevant. These include English, journalism and communications. While pursuing an English degree can help you develop your writing and editing skills while studying literature, journalism and communications degrees are more career-focused.

Journalism degrees include coursework that is most relevant to news editing. You may take several courses that train you in editing practices in general, as well as editing specific to the news industry. You may also study related aspects of the news world, including reporting, layout design and television production. Many journalism programs require internships that build your practical experience outside of the classroom.

Where Might I Work?

As a news editor, you can work in several types of media. News editors are needed at newspapers, magazines, television stations and online news providers. Some employers will require that you have a background in journalism or professional writing.

Within these different types of employers, there are many types of editors. At a newspaper, for example, there are assignment editors whose jobs include placing journalists on specific stories. Copy editors focus primarily on analyzing news copy for grammatical and stylistic errors. A more senior position is that of the executive editor, who makes editorial decisions and manages a team of lower level editors.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

If you have strong written communications skills, you may also want to consider becoming a journalist. These professionals generally have the same qualifications as editors but focus their efforts primarily on creating and pitching their own content to publications and media outlets. Journalists need to have strong research skills and an interesting and informative writing style. After gaining some experience in the field, journalists may be able to find work as broadcast news analysts, giving informed opinions on current events to help inform the public. Like news editors, broadcast news analysts need to have a strong familiarity with news stories and be able to communicate that information effectively. If you have a talent for editing, you may want to look into working for a publishing house. Book editors read and select manuscripts for publication, ensuring that there are no grammatical or factual areas and streamlining the content. These positions are available for those in possession of a bachelor's degree in English or a related field.

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