Editors are senior journalists allocated the responsibility of reviewing the content of a publication or section within a publication. The type of employer determines the specific duties of the editor. However, most editors assign, accept or reject, prepare and sometimes write articles for publication. They supervise the work of sub-editors, writers, reporters, photographers, typesetters, advertising and other workers.

Editors may specialise by working for employers such as book, newspaper or magazine publishers. They can also specialise in a subject area such as food, the arts, finance, sport or travel.

Editors in book publishing firms decide whether a manuscript has the potential to be a successful publication. Once a manuscript is approved, they arrange for the copyright, decide on the print, production techniques and promotion. Copy editors in publishing firms check through the text carefully, correct language and factual errors and sometimes do extensive rewriting.

A major part of an editor’s role is meeting deadlines, requiring excellent people management skills in order to do so. Editors in the newspaper industry in particular, work at a hectic pace to meet deadlines. Magazine editors and newspaper editors assign, accept or reject, prepare and sometimes write articles themselves for publication. Managing editors are the owners’ representatives and set editorial policy.

Editors who publish books and magazines are considered to have a less hectic schedule than that of newspaper editors. The reason for this is that magazine and book editors have more flexible deadlines compared to newspaper editors, who have hourly and daily deadlines.

Experience and ability are the keys to successful editing. Important changes in media require adapting and upgrading of knowledge and skills. Publications are run on business principles, therefore knowledge of business management is important. In this industry it is important to stay up-to-date with technology and the advances in digital media and the Internet.

With a diploma in journalism one may get the opportunity to be appointed as a reporter or a journalist. With experience, ability and further qualifications one may proceed to higher posts such as sub-editor and later as editor. Usually a degree in languages together with relevant experience in journalism and newspaper or magazine publishing work is required.
The competition is very keen for promotion into the key policy-making positions of a newspaper. An editor may become a chief editor, and an editor of a special area such as sport, finance, arts, etc. may be appointed as head of a department with responsibility for a large staff.

Some editors leave large newspapers to begin a small-town newspaper of their own. Editors in the book-publishing field may move from a small publishing house to a larger, more prestigious one where opportunities for promotion, while competitive, are more readily available.

The rising costs of publishing, the trend toward paperback books, the advances in electronic media and economic downturns, may have a bad effect on this industry in general.


  • newspaper firms

  • magazine firms

  • book publishing firms

  • educational institutions, as educator or lecturer

  • self-employment, with enough experience and capital, can open own publishing business

Getting Started

  • assist with the publication of your school magazine

  • try to obtain vacation work in a newspaper office

  • help to prepare a newsletter for your school club or youth organisation


Bindura University of Science Education, Catholic Institute of Kabgayi, Cavendish University, Chinhoyi University of Technology, City Varsity, Damelin, Durban University of Technology , Egerton University, Gideon Roberts University, Great Zimbabwe University, Gretsa University, Helderberg College NPC, Ibanda University, ICESA City Campus, Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centre, International Leadership University, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kampala Institute of Vocational Training and Business Studies, Kenya Methodist University, Kenyatta University, Kibabii University, Kibogora Polytechnic, Kwame Nkrumah University, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology, Kyambogo University, Laikipia University, Lesotho College of Education, Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, Lukenya University, Machakos University College, Mahatma Gandhi Institute and Rabindranath Tagore Institute, Makerere University, Marian University College, Marist International University College, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, Methodist University College Ghana, Moi University, Mount Kenya University, Multimedia University of Kenya, Namibia University of Science and Technology, National University of Lesotho, North-West University, Open University of Tanzania, Pearson Institute of Higher Education, Presbyterian University College, Presbyterian University of East Africa, Pwani University College, Riara University, Rongo University College, Rosebank College, Rusangu University, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Sol Plaatjies University, Solusi University, South Eastern Kenya University, St Paul's University, St. Augustine University of Tanzania, Stefano Moshi Memorial University College, Strathmore University, Tangaza University College, Technical University of Mombasa, Tumaini University Makumira, United States International University, University of Botswana, University of Cape Coast, University of Dar Es Salaam, University of Eastern Africa Baraton, University of Education Winneba, University of Fort Hare, University of Ghana, University of Iringa, University of Johannesburg, University of Limpopo, University of Mauritius, University of Nairobi, University of Namibia, University of Pretoria, University of Rwanda, University of Stellenbosch, University of Swaziland, University of the Free State, University of the Western Cape, Varsity College, Victoria University, Zimbabwe Open University

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