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How do I Become a Deputy Editor?

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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 23 September 2019
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    Conjecture Corporation
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A deputy editor manages staff and commissions stories from writers. He or she often assists a senior editor by supervising writers and may represent the magazine or newspaper at events. If you want to become a deputy editor, you'll need at least a bachelor's degree in a field such as journalism, English or communications. Since deputy editorial positions are typically management-related, you should also gain as much supervisory work experience as possible in your other jobs. Completing an internship in publishing while you're still in school can help you become a deputy editor.

Regularly checking your college's internship database and speaking with the person in charge of editorial internships should be your goal, but don't rely only on your school to help you find opportunities. You should also contact publications you'd be interested in being an intern for directly. Larger media may offer mostly coffee-getting and filing type of work, yet also the chance to make good contacts in the industry if you prove yourself by taking the initiative. Smaller publishing companies may have more career-oriented work for you to do, but may not give you as many future networking possibilities. The career path to become a deputy editor is often extremely competitive, so hands-on experience working at a magazine or newspaper, even if it's unpaid, is usually very worthwhile.

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If possible, you should take courses in editing as well as related subjects such as mass communications. It's also important to be a part of your college newspaper. Through this hands-on participation, you can develop the skills needed to become a deputy editor. For example, you can gain experience in understanding readers and thinking about the content that best meets their interests. You're also likely to learn the importance of meeting publication deadlines and developing a self-motivated approach to your work.

Excellent writing skills are necessary if you hope to become a deputy editor. Many editors begin as writers and gradually move through editing other writers' work to managing a department or section of a publication. Getting hired at a local newspaper or magazine is often a good way to get solid editing experience to eventually work for larger publications.

Attending editing workshops whenever possible is a good idea for learning development as well as networking. You should work at getting your name out in the industry and building a reputation for good work. Keep checking editorial job boards and as many media sources as you can think of. You can also ask for informational interviews with senior editors at different publications. Remember though that the purpose is not to ask for a job at that time, but to ask questions about who they hire with what type of skills and experience.

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