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Pros & Cons for a Magazine Editor

by Janet Stanton Burt, studioD

The buck stops with the editor of a magazine. She is responsible for what goes into a magazine before it hits the newsstands, overseeing the work of writers, copy editors and the art department. While exciting and creative, the editor’s job also has some drawbacks.

Pro: Creative Workday

Editors exercise their creative muscles by coming up with appropriate article ideas, planning the content of the magazine, and editing articles for clarity and accuracy. Editors may also write photo captions and article titles, and review page proofs. Editors at small publications may also be responsible for page layouts. This variety can be stimulating and challenging.

Con: High Pressure Environment

Deadlines are a fact of life for magazine editors, and they frequently work long hours as publication dates approach. These tight timelines can be stressful and the demands of the job fatiguing. Additionally, editors shoulder much responsibility, both to the magazine and to their readership to ensure the accuracy of every fact presented. Juggling several different writing projects at once and working with many types of people is a high-wire balancing act that may not appeal to everyone.

Pro: Managerial Opportunities

Editors at large magazines oversee the work of many people. They may hire editorial assistants, copy editors and fact checkers. As their careers advance, they become skilled managers, supervising staff, freelance writers, editorial assistants and researchers, and coordinating closely with the art department on illustrations and graphics. Editors have the opportunity to make important decisions as they oversee projects from start to finish.

Con: Might Need to Relocate

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the majority of magazine jobs are concentrated in the major media outlets of New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Boston. Although niche and professional magazines can be found scattered throughout the country, many of the top popular and commercial magazines are published at one of these media hubs.

Pro: Option to Telecommute

Increasingly, editors can work wherever they are as long as they have a computer. Additionally, the boom in Internet and digital publishing is creating new opportunities for editors.

Con: Competitive Job Outlook

Job growth for magazine editors is predicted to have little or no change from 2012 to 2020, according to the BLS. Competition for top jobs at magazines will be stiff, although editors who are comfortable with online media may be able to find new opportunities.

About the Author

Janet Burt has written professionally for more than 20 years, specializing in business, careers, healthcare and the arts. Her work has appeared in “Self,” “Focus,” and “The Philadelphia Inquirer,” among other places. Also a professional artist, Burt has a degree in English and German from Colgate University.

Photo Credits

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