How do I Become a News Editor?

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  • Written By: Ken Black
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 23 August 2019
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The process to become a news editor typically begins in high school, or the first year or two of college. Taking journalism classes and understanding your career goals are vital steps in the process to become a news editor. If you take the time to get the proper education and make the proper contacts, getting into the news business is a possibility.

If you are interested in journalism, the first step in the process to become a news editor is simply to take as many courses in writing or English as possible. This provides you with a good background in proper grammar and some exposure to different storytelling techniques. While you will still need to learn proper journalistic style, this is a good beginning and something that will be of benefit as you continue on.

Next, you need to understand that an interest in journalism is not enough to become a news editor. You should also make up your mind that editing is what you really want to do. While some reporters do go on to become editors, the two careers often take different paths right from the start. The skill sets needed are similar, but not identical. Therefore, decide early on that editing is what you really want to do, before you begin to get involved in journalism.


Another important thing to consider when looking to become a news editor is finding a college with a student newspaper or television channel. The newspaper or television station should be at least somewhat well respected in the local community, even if it does not have widespread distribution outside of the college. If you can find a college newspaper that does have some general circulation, that is a definite plus. Make sure you tell the faculty adviser and paper staff that you are looking at becoming a news editor at some point, so that you get the most appropriate experience possible.

There are a number of majors you may consider to become a news editor. Journalism is the most obvious choice, but English and public relations degrees could also help you get an opportunity with a local news organization. The important thing is to make sure you have the practical experience in either broadcast or print journalism. Clips are just as important, if not more important, than the degree.

Internships are another key to finding a news editor job. If you can make the proper connections, and get practical experience at a private newspaper, then you will gain instant credibility in the job market. Many students serving internships find that they often return to the paper or papers where they served for their first jobs. At the very least, it should provide you with credible contacts and references.



Discuss this Article

Post 3

@pleonasm - That is a good point and one reason I think that anyone who wants to get into this kind of career needs to focus heavily on social media and the internet in general. If you have experience and knowledge relating to these, you're going to have a much better chance at getting a job.

Post 2

@clintflint - I do want to point out here that, because of the fact that there are so many different kinds of news outlets these days, it can actually be more difficult for someone to find a job as a traditional news editor.

Many traditional news sources are becoming less relevant, as newspapers consolidate and radio news is made less important. There are a lot of places where people can get news online, but often these are crowd-sourced and so they don't need as many, if any, news editors, or don't pay the way they used to.

There are still opportunities out there, of course, both with new media and traditional media, but unless you have very encouraging signs that you can made it in this career, I wouldn't be quick to leave my old job in order to pursue it.

Post 1

It definitely helps to get involved in the school paper at high school, but don't feel like, if you want to become a news editor at a later stage in your life, it will be impossible. There are plenty of good journalism classes out there for people to take and there are a lot of unconventional news outlets around these days where you can get your start.

Keep your mind open to the possibilities and work hard and you can achieve anything.

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