Career Development

What Does an Assignment Editor Do?

Find out what an assignment editor does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as an assignment editor.

Assignment editors are responsible for managing the flow of information between reporters and their news organization. They act as a liaison between these two groups, ensuring that reporters have everything they need to complete their assignments while also making sure that the rest of the newsroom is aware of what’s happening in the field.

Assignment editors may work directly with individual reporters or teams of reporters, depending on the needs of their particular news organization. In either case, they must be able to effectively communicate with all parties involved. This means being able to clearly articulate ideas, provide direction when necessary, and resolve any issues that may arise during the course of a reporter’s assignment.

Assignment Editor Job Duties

Assignment editors typically have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Interviewing experts on various topics to find out what is happening in their field of expertise
  • Reviewing articles submitted by freelance writers and selecting those that will be published
  • Managing the workflow of all story assignments, including assigning stories to writers, editing stories for style and content, and publishing stories online or in print
  • Coordinating with writers to ensure that they have all the information they need to complete an article or story
  • Reviewing materials such as photos, videos, and documents to ensure that they meet publication standards
  • Working with editors on high-profile stories that require special attention to detail
  • Reviewing content to ensure that it meets legal requirements, such as not violating copyright laws
  • Scheduling interviews with public figures such as politicians or business leaders
  • Reviewing and editing stories for grammar, spelling, punctuation, and style before publication

Assignment Editor Salary & Outlook

Assignment editors’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the size and location of the newspaper. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of bonuses.

  • Median Annual Salary: $62,500 ($30.05/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $105,000 ($50.48/hour)

The employment of assignment editors is expected to grow slower than average over the next decade.

Demand for assignment editors depends largely on the demand for news and information. As people continue to consume more news online and on mobile devices, demand for assignment editors may increase. However, this growth may be offset by the increasing use of automation in newsrooms.

Related: In-Depth Assignment Editor Salary Guide

Assignment Editor Job Requirements

Assignment editors typically need to have the following qualifications:

Education: Most employers require assignment editors to have a bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications, English or another related field. Some employers prefer to hire assignment editors who have a master’s degree in journalism or communications. Relevant coursework includes writing, research, ethics, media law and ethics, and media history.

Training & Experience: Most of an assignment editor’s training will take place on the job. They will learn the specific style and format requirements of their publication or network, as well as the preferred style of writing and the preferred style of editing. They will also learn the preferred style of writing for the publication’s or network’s website.

Assignment editors can also receive training through internships. An internship can provide valuable experience in the field of journalism. Internships can also provide valuable networking opportunities.

Certifications & Licenses: There are no required certifications for assignment editors to obtain a position in the industry. However, there are optional certifications available for assignment editors to increase their earning potential and help secure a position in the field.

Assignment Editor Skills

Assignment editors need the following skills in order to be successful:

Editing skills: As an assignment editor, you may be responsible for reviewing and editing the work of other writers. This can include proofreading, correcting grammar and punctuation errors and making suggestions for changes to improve the quality of the work. You may also be responsible for ensuring that the work is relevant to the topic, meets the publication’s standards and is written in a clear and engaging manner.

Communication skills: As an assignment editor, you may be required to communicate with reporters, sources and other staff members. Effective communication skills can help you to convey your ideas clearly and to understand the messages others send to you. You can use your communication skills to send emails, make phone calls and write messages on social media.

Research skills: As an assignment editor, you may be responsible for finding sources for stories and finding information to support the claims of a story. Research skills can help you find the information you need to complete your job.

Time management skills: Time management skills are necessary for assignment editors to ensure they meet deadlines and complete all of their work on time. They may also use time management skills to ensure they meet the needs of their employers and clients. For example, if a client requests a certain type of story, the assignment editor may use time management skills to find the right writer and ensure the story is complete and submitted on time.

Teamwork skills: As an assignment editor, you may work with other editors, reporters and photographers to complete a story. This means you need to be a good team member who can work with others to accomplish a goal. You can use teamwork skills like collaboration, active listening and empathy to help you work well with others.

Assignment Editor Work Environment

The work environment for an assignment editor is usually fast-paced and deadline-oriented. Most assignment editors work for news organizations, although some work for other types of media outlets, such as magazines or online news sites. They typically work in an office setting, although they may occasionally travel to cover a story. Assignment editors usually work regular business hours, although they may be required to work evenings or weekends to cover breaking news stories. The job can be stressful, as assignment editors must constantly juggle the demands of multiple reporters and editors while trying to stay within the budget.

Assignment Editor Trends

Here are three trends influencing how assignment editors work. Assignment editors will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Growth of Remote Work

The growth of remote work is a trend that is quickly changing the way businesses operate. As more and more employees are able to work from home, companies are beginning to realize the benefits of this arrangement.

As an assignment editor, you can take advantage of this trend by becoming familiar with the tools and technologies that allow for remote work. This will allow you to work with writers who are located across the country or even around the world.

More Focus on Diversity

Diversity is becoming increasingly important in the media industry as publishers strive to reflect the communities they serve. This means that assignment editors will need to be more focused on diversity in their hiring practices.

By focusing on diversity, assignment editors can ensure that their publications are representing the communities they serve. They can also create opportunities for underrepresented writers to get their work published. In addition, this focus can help to create a more inclusive workplace where everyone feels welcome.

A Greater Emphasis on Data-Driven Decision Making

As data becomes more and more important in business, decision makers are placing a greater emphasis on data-driven decision making. This means that assignment editors need to be able to understand and utilize data to make informed decisions about which stories to publish and how to promote them.

In order to be successful in this environment, assignment editors need to be able to not only collect and analyze data, but also communicate its importance to other members of the team. Additionally, they need to be able to identify trends in data and use it to predict future outcomes.

How to Become an Assignment Editor

When starting your career as an assignment editor, it’s important to consider the type of company you want to work for. Do you prefer a large corporation with many opportunities for advancement or a smaller company that offers more personal attention? Do you want to work in-house or remotely?

It’s also important to think about what skills you have and which ones you need to develop. Are you comfortable using technology to find and organize information? Can you write well and quickly? Are you able to work under pressure and meet deadlines? If the answer is no to any of these questions, then you may want to take some time to develop those skills before applying for jobs.

Once you’ve considered all of these factors, start searching for jobs online and networking with other journalists and assignment editors.

Related: How to Write an Assignment Editor Resume

Advancement Prospects

Assignment editors who work for small news organizations may eventually move up to become news directors. Those who work for larger organizations may move up to become executive producers or managing editors. Advancement for assignment editors generally comes with experience and proven success in the field.

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