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Editor vs. Reporter: What Are the Differences?

Learn about the two careers and review some of the similarities and differences between them.

Editors and reporters are both important roles within the journalism industry. While they share some similarities, such as working with words and communicating with the public, there are several key differences between these two positions. In this article, we discuss the similarities and differences between editors and reporters, and we provide helpful tips for those interested in pursuing a career in journalism.

What is an Editor?

Editors plan, review, and revise content for publication. They work closely with authors and other content creators to ensure that the final product is accurate, clear, and conforms to the publication’s style guide. Editors also often fact-check content and may do some light research to verify information. In addition to content editing, Editors also perform copyediting and proofreading to fix errors and typos. They may also work with designers and illustrators to select or create visuals that complement the text.

What is a Reporter?

Reporters are journalists who collect, write and present news stories for newspapers, magazines, radio, television or digital media outlets. They often specialize in a particular beat, such as politics, sports, business or entertainment, and develop sources within their beat to give them inside information. Reporters typically work on tight deadlines to gather and write their stories, often working long hours to meet a daily or weekly deadline. They may work independently or as part of a team of reporters. Some reporters also work as correspondents, traveling to different locations to cover stories as they happen.

Editor vs. Reporter

Here are the main differences between an editor and a reporter.

Job Duties

The job duties of an editor and a reporter can differ, as each professional has different responsibilities related to creating and publishing their publication’s content. A reporter researches and gathers information for the article they’re writing, often conducting interviews and collecting data. After completing their article, reporters typically give their work to an editor for review.

Editors have many responsibilities related to editing articles before they’re published. An editor may make changes like adding or removing text, changing font sizes or titles or rearranging sections to improve the readability of an article. They also may assign headlines to articles and choose images to accompany stories on the page.

Job Requirements

Editors and reporters typically need at least a bachelor’s degree in journalism, English or another related field. Some employers prefer candidates to have a master’s degree as well, but it is not required for entry-level positions. Additionally, many editors and reporters pursue internships while they are still in school to gain practical experience in the field.

Work Environment

Reporters often work in newsrooms, where they collaborate with other reporters and editors to produce stories. They may also travel to different locations for their reporting assignments.

Editors typically work in offices or editing rooms, but some may have the opportunity to work remotely. Editors usually spend most of their time working alone, though they may collaborate with reporters on projects.


Both editors and reporters use writing skills in their jobs. However, reporters typically focus on writing stories that are newsworthy, while editors often revise and improve the quality of written content. Because of this, reporters may benefit from having strong research skills to help them find information for their stories, while editors may need stronger editing skills to identify errors and make improvements to content.

Both editors and reporters also use communication skills when they interact with colleagues and sources. However, reporters may need to use these skills more frequently as they interview sources and gather information for their stories. Editors may use communication skills when working with reporters to provide feedback or give instructions.

Organization is another important skill for both editors and reporters. Reporters need to be organized so they can keep track of the information they gather and the deadlines they need to meet. Editors need to be organized so they can manage the workflow of the content they are responsible for and ensure that all deadlines are met.


The average salary for an editor is $67,545 per year, while the average salary for a reporter is $57,926 per year. Both of these salaries can vary depending on the type of publication you work for, your level of experience and your location.


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