For anyone who writes, an editor helps make the final product better. A good editor is not just spell-check and grammar police (although still essential). In a BBC article, editing was described as “an exercise in selection and judgement: what to put in and – just as important – what to leave out.” I think a good editor asks the why questions. Why this story? Why should people care? Why did you lead with that? It makes the writer think.
It seems anyone can be an online reporter or blogger or social media contributor — even me. But with so many voices all saying something, readers can quickly and easily experience information overload. Before commoditization in news, there were entry barriers for the wannabe news reporters: the print publishers were gatekeepers and editors were a checkpoint. Before online and social media, there wasn’t an overabundance of news outlets; the scarcity made news outlets valuable and kept subscription and advertising rates rising.
But an editor is more than a checkpoint: they have a duty and responsibility to help the organization succeed, a tough job in an age of hyper-competitive digital news. Balancing editorial integrity and the business concerns continues to be a work in progress in a drastically changing environment.
The role of the editor in the shift from print to digital
The digital revolution has taken a toll on once thriving newspapers. New business models are rebuilding subscriptions and finding new revenue streams. Within this changing industry, savvy publishers and editors need to leverage digital tools to find ways to work faster and smarter. Software tools and applications like OpenText™ Content Hub for Publishers can help connect print and digital processes and integrate with editorial workflows to streamline and simplify news production. OpenText Content Hub for Publishers helps editors and journalists create news and information content while delivering comprehensive editorial workflow management, digital asset management (DAM), and multi-channel publishing.
As publishers continue to press forward, I see editors having a key, critical role in newspapers and news organizations, rising above the cacophony, differentiating real news with real judgement and reestablishing a reputation based on integrity and transparent values. Good editing will make it better.
Read more about how to succeed in the shift from print to digital with our ebook, The News and Information Publishers Survival Guide.
Find out why most of the major newspapers in London’s Fleet Street have turned to OpenText Content Hub for Publishers.
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