Newspaper or Magazine Editor

Job Description:

Newspaper and magazine editors oversee the look and content of online and printed publications.

Job Category:
Culture, Media & Sport

What you will do:

Depending on the publication you work for as an editor, your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • commissioning articles
  • choosing which articles to publish
  • deciding how they’ll be laid out for publishing
  • assessing work sent from freelance journalists, photographers and illustrators

You’ll work with sub-editors, designers, production staff and printers to make sure publication deadlines are met.

On smaller titles you might help to write and sub-edit. On larger titles you’ll just have editor duties.

You may also look after other areas like budget control, hiring staff and working with advertising and production departments.


You’ll need:

  • knowledge of English language
  • knowledge of media production and communication
  • the ability to read English
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

As well as:

Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a Newspaper or Magazine Editor, you typically need a combination of education, experience, and skills rather than specific subject requirements. However, there are subjects and skills that can be beneficial for this career path. Here are some subjects and skills to consider:

  1. English Language: A strong command of the English language, including grammar, punctuation, and writing skills, is essential for effective communication and editing.
  2. Media Studies: If available at your school, GCSEs or equivalent qualifications in Media Studies can provide insights into journalism, media production, and editing techniques.
  3. History and Politics: These subjects can provide valuable context for understanding current events and the political landscape, which is essential for editors who oversee news content.
  4. Mathematics: While not directly related to editing, basic math skills can be useful when dealing with budgets, statistics, and data analysis for magazines with quantitative content.
  5. ICT (Information and Communication Technology): Familiarity with computer software, digital publishing tools, and content management systems is increasingly important in modern editing.

Post School

You’ll need a background in journalism and usually have relevant qualifications and work experience.

You’ll also need a good understanding of the newspaper and magazine industries.

You could build up your publishing experience by starting as a reporter or journalist.

If you want to work for a specialist publication like a medical or scientific journal, you’ll likely need a:

  • degree or postgraduate qualification in a relevant subject
  • high level of specialist knowledge

Working Hours and Environment:

If you work for a daily or weekly publication you’ll usually work irregular hours, including evenings and weekends.

If you work for a monthly publication or a specialist trade journal, you’ll usually work normal office hours, but with some overtime leading up to publication deadlines.

Your work will be mainly office-based. You may need to travel to meet clients and reporters.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience as a local newspaper editor you could move on to regional and then national publications.

You could become editor-in-chief of a group of newspapers, or magazine publishers.