Career Development

What Does an Editor In Chief Do?

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

The role of an editor in chief is one that requires a great deal of responsibility and attention to detail. They are responsible for overseeing all aspects of their publication’s content, from the stories they choose to cover to how those stories are written and edited.

Editor in chiefs must also be able to juggle multiple tasks at once. They may be working with writers on upcoming stories while editing current ones or meeting with advertisers about new partnerships.

Editor In Chief Job Duties

An editor in chief typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Interviewing new candidates for job openings or existing staff members about their work experiences
  • Coordinating with other team members to ensure that they are working on the same projects
  • Reviewing content to ensure that it is relevant, interesting, and appropriate for the publication’s target audience
  • Reviewing advertising contracts for accuracy, legality, and compliance with standards set by the industry
  • Overseeing the operations of the publication, including hiring and firing employees, developing company policies, and ensuring that all deadlines are met
  • Reviewing article ideas from freelance writers and assigning pieces to appropriate staff members based on their expertise
  • Developing a vision for the publication’s future and working with staff to implement changes that support this vision
  • Reviewing submissions from freelance writers to ensure that they meet the publication’s standards for quality and style
  • Determining which topics will be covered in upcoming issues of the publication and selecting appropriate writers to cover these topics

Editor In Chief Salary & Outlook

The salary of a reporter can vary depending on a number of factors, including their level of education, years of experience, and the size of the publication they work for.

  • Median Annual Salary: $66,056 ($31.76/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $121,000 ($58.17/hour)

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

The growth of e-books and online content will continue to limit the demand for print publications, which will reduce the need for editors. However, the increasing popularity of self-publishing platforms may offset this effect by allowing more people to write and publish their own books.

Related: Editor In Chief Interview Questions and Answers

Editor In Chief Job Requirements

The following are some of the qualifications that are typically required to become an editor in chief:

Education: Most employers require an editor in chief to have a bachelor’s degree in journalism, English, communications or another related field. Some employers prefer to hire candidates who have a master’s degree in journalism or communications.

Training & Experience: Editors in chief typically have a minimum of 10 years of experience in the field. They may have worked as an editor or reporter before advancing to this role. They may have worked in a variety of roles, including as an editor, copy editor, reporter or managing editor. Editors in chief may have experience in a variety of industries, including publishing, education, government, law and technology.

Certifications & Licenses: There are no specific certifications required to become an editor in chief. However, there are certifications available for editors, and they can help increase your earning potential.

Editor In Chief Skills

Editors in chief need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication: Communication is another crucial skill for an editor in chief. You need to be able to communicate with your team, your readers and the publication’s sponsors. You also need to be able to communicate effectively in writing, whether you’re writing an article or an email.

Leadership: As an editor in chief, you are a leader of a team of writers and other staff members. You need to be able to motivate your team and encourage them to work hard. You also need to be able to delegate tasks and assign them to the right people.

Editing: Editing is the process of reviewing and revising written content. As an editor in chief, you need to be able to review and revise articles to ensure they meet the publication’s standards and are free of errors. You can also use editing to improve the flow of an article or to combine multiple articles into one.

Decision-making: As an editor in chief, you need to make decisions about what content to publish, what topics to cover and how to cover them. You need to be able to make decisions quickly and confidently. You also need to be able to make decisions about what not to publish. For example, if you receive a submission that doesn’t meet your publication’s standards, you need to be able to make a decision about whether to publish it or not.

Marketing: Marketing is the process of promoting a product or service. As an editor in chief, you may be responsible for promoting your publication and its content. This can include writing and placing advertisements, creating social media posts and other methods of attracting readers.

Editor In Chief Work Environment

The editor-in-chief works in an office, usually in a large publishing house. He or she may have a small staff of editorial assistants and secretaries. The editor-in-chief spends most of the workday reading and editing manuscripts, conferring with authors and other editors, and planning the content of future issues. The editor-in-chief also represents the publishing house at meetings, conferences, and seminars. He or she may travel to visit authors or to attend professional meetings. The editor-in-chief usually works a standard forty-hour week, but may work longer hours when deadlines are approaching.

Editor In Chief Trends

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

The Rise of the Digital-First Publisher

The digital age has led to a shift in how people consume media, with many now reading news and articles online rather than in print. This trend is having a significant impact on the publishing industry, as more and more publishers are moving towards a digital-first model.

As editor in chief of a digital-first publisher, you will need to be well-versed in the latest trends in digital publishing, such as mobile optimization and social media marketing. You will also need to be able to manage a team of writers and editors who are working in a digital environment.

A Greater Focus on Video Content

Video content is becoming an increasingly important part of the editorial process, as it allows editors to tell stories in a way that is more engaging for readers.

As video becomes more popular, editors will need to learn how to create videos that capture the attention of viewers. They will also need to be able to manage a team of video producers who can help create high-quality content.

More Collaboration Between Writers and Editors

In recent years, there has been a growing trend towards collaboration between writers and editors. This is due to the fact that both parties have different skills that are needed to produce a high-quality piece of writing.

As editor in chief, you will need to be able to work effectively with writers in order to produce the best possible content. You will also need to be able to identify areas where the writing could be improved and provide feedback on drafts.

How to Become an Editor In Chief

A career as an editor-in-chief can be rewarding in many ways. It offers the opportunity to work with talented writers and see your ideas come to life on the page, as well as the chance to lead a team of professionals who are dedicated to producing high-quality content.

However, it’s important to consider all aspects of this career before jumping in. As an editor-in-chief, you will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the publication, including managing staff, setting editorial direction, and ensuring that deadlines are met. This is a demanding role that requires long hours and dedication.

Additionally, there is no one path to becoming an editor-in-chief. Some editors start their careers as reporters or copy editors, while others have worked their way up through the ranks of publishing companies. No matter where you start, it’s important to build relationships with other editors and journalists, attend industry events, and stay up-to-date on the latest trends in journalism.

Advancement Prospects

The editor in chief is the highest-ranking editorial position in a publication. The editor in chief is responsible for the overall content of the publication, including the selection of articles, the editing of articles, and the management of the editorial staff. The editor in chief also works with the publisher to develop the overall strategy for the publication.

The editor in chief position is usually reserved for experienced editors with a proven track record in the publishing industry. Most editor in chief positions are filled by promotion from within the ranks of a publication’s editorial staff. However, it is not uncommon for editor in chief positions to be filled by editors who are hired from outside the publication.

Editor In Chief Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we are looking for an experienced and passionate Editor-in-Chief to lead our editorial team. The Editor-in-Chief will be responsible for the overall tone and content of our publication, working with the team of editors, writers, and designers to create engaging and compelling content. He or she will also be responsible for developing and executing the editorial calendar, ensuring that all deadlines are met. The ideal candidate will have a strong vision for the publication, as well as excellent editing, writing, and leadership skills.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Oversee the development and implementation of the editorial vision for the publication
  • Work with the team of editors to ensure that all content is high-quality, accurate, and timely
  • Make decisions about which stories will be published and how they will be presented
  • Assign stories to writers and editors, and provide feedback and guidance throughout the editing process
  • Work with the business side of the organization to ensure that the publication is profitable
  • Develop relationships with sources and experts in order to get exclusive stories
  • Serve as the public face of the publication, representing it at events and in the media
  • Manage the budget for the editorial department
  • Hire and train new editorial staff members
  • Set goals and objectives for the editorial team, and assess their performance regularly
  • Stay up-to-date on industry trends, and make decisions about how the publication will evolve
  • Handle complaints and criticism from readers, responding diplomatically but firmly

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in journalism, English, communications, or related field
  • 10+ years experience as an editor or writer for a news publication
  • Proven track record of successful project management from conception to completion
  • Outstanding editing, proofreading, and fact-checking skills
  • Exceptional organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in journalism, English, communications, or related field
  • 15+ years experience as an editor or writer for a news publication
  • Experience working with a team of editors and writers
  • In-depth knowledge of AP style
  • Familiarity with SEO best practices


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