The Various Types of Editors

Editors are responsible for editing various forms of media into a finished state that is published. An article in a newspaper or magazine may pass through several editors' hands. Editors usually have college degrees in fields such as English, communication or journalism. They must be able to communicate and work well with others to progress a media piece from its infancy stages to publication.


Editors-in-chief have the final say on publications and are in charge of all operations. They manage the editorial staff and make sure articles published are in a finished state. They may have broad power to handle the entire organization's operational planning and direction.

Managing Editor

Managing editors supervise the editorial team's activities. Second in charge after the editor-in-chief, they ensure that lower staff members meet responsibilities and results. In smaller publications, this position may overlap with more generic editorial responsibilities.

Copy Editor

Copy editors improve the formatting, style, spelling, grammar, flow, semantics and punctuation of text. They may edit the length of the text, add captions or headlines. The "five Cs" of copy editing consist of making the text consistent, concise, comprehensible, clear and correct. Copy editors' responsibilities also include fact checking, and they sometimes have the power to rewrite parts of text where they see fit.

Other Types of Editors

Different publications and media require specific types of editing. Film editors assemble the sequences or individual shots of a film into a finished product. Sound editors assemble various sound recordings into a final state for movies, television programs, commercials and video games. Photo editors choose and review illustrations to be included in publications.