Greg Bales

Editing requires other skills and instincts.

Several editors spoke to me about this in psychological terms: Editing requires an ability to sympathize with the reporter’s and/or producer’s struggles, while maintaining enough distance to offer meaningful critique. You should be able to tell your reporter that his story is a hot mess, while making him feel excited about fixing it. Sometimes, editing is like therapy.

Editing also requires an ability to structure stories—and to maintain perspective, to step into the audience’s shoes.

Editors must also be coaches and talent spotters—with an eye and an ear out for new, distinctive voices.

These skills are (hopefully) timeless, but editing also demands new knowledge, things we couldn’t learn at journalism schools or in newsrooms even five years ago.

MacAdam goes on to add that editors must understand how to think about audiences, distribution channels, and the diversity of ways that stories might be told. Editors may be the unsung talent in a newsroom, but nurturing them is in the best interest of the profession.

Journalism has an editing crisis, but we can do something about it” by Alison MacAdam for Poynter




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