How to Become a Managing Editor

News departments are very complex and require a wide variety of professionals for efficient function and organization. Managing editors are trained professionals that are typically responsible for the day-to-day operations of news departments.


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What does a managing editor do?

Managing editors supervise all editorial activities for news publications and organizations such as newspapers, magazines, and television news stations. They typically manage a team of reporters and staff writers that produce a variety of new stories. They also oversee research staff that help with checking the facts of news stories. Managing editors usually review every article and provide feedback and recommendations for changes. They determine the importance of the story and its placement in the news publication or broadcast. They also manage deadlines and provide the necessary assistance to other staff members. Managing editors typically report to editor-in-chiefs.

What kind of training does a managing editor need?

Managing editors typically need at least a bachelor degree in journalism, English, or other related field. Prospective managing editors often complete courses in English, composition, mass communications, news publications, and television broadcastings. Many aspiring managing editors complete internships or obtain part-time jobs with school or local newspapers or television stations. Many managing editors begin their careers as writers or reports and move into editor positions after they gain the necessary experience. Most employers provide some type of on the job training to enable new managing editors to learn the necessary policies and procedures. Managing editors typically complete regular continuing education to keep their skills up to date and stay abreast with changes in the field.

What are the prospects for a career as a managing editor?

Employment of managing editors is expected to experience little or no change from 2008 to 2018 (1). The fact that employers are downsizing may affect job growth.

Job prospects should be good with strong competition. Managing editors with extensive experience and advanced training will have the best job opportunities. Many job openings will stem from the need to replace managing editors that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.

How much do managing editors make?

As of February 2010, the middle 50% of managing editors earn annual salaries between $67,696 and $102,501. The top 10% earn annual salaries of more than $120,519 (2).

A career as a managing editor is an excellent choice for individuals with a strong interest in news broadcasting and overseeing a variety of editing tasks. Managing editors must have a solid understanding of the necessary concepts, policies, and procedures related to their organization. Creativity, detail orientation, critical thinking, good problem solving, and excellent leadership abilities are essential characteristics. Managing editors must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills and the ability to interact with a variety of people. They must be able to effectively work as part of a team and make good decisions. They must also be able to work under stress and pressure to meet specific deadlines.

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