Can you imagine a world without editors? The answer is no

media update’s Nicole van Wyk pays tribute to the grammar squadron, content magicians and layout overseers. Editors, this article is for you

According to Career Explorer, “Editors are responsible for checking facts, spelling, grammar and punctuation. They are also responsible for ensuring that an article corresponds with in-house style guides and feels polished and refined when done.

“There are also times when editors need to step in and cut out what doesn't fit to the purpose of the story and guide the attention towards the areas that the reading audience should focus.” 

Editors do all of that and then some. People in this profession are often underappreciated, and deserve some recognition for their incredible editorial flair. It takes a special eye to recognise a writer’s strengths and help them to hone their craft. And with so many journalists walking through a newsroom’s doors, it can sometimes be difficult to pin down the area in which a writer excels in most. 

Can you imagine having to deal with different personalities, writing styles and areas of expertise? Editors don’t have to imagine, because they juggle all of these things every single day. Think about it: as a writer, you are only accountable for your own deadlines, content research and article compilation, while an editor is the newsroom octopus dealing with several tasks at once.

To our editors, thank you for your confidence in our abilities. You ride the self-doubt wave with us when we sometimes feel like our writing isn’t quite up to standard. After the first submission, it probably isn’t, but you stick around to make sure we encapsulate all of our facts and opinions eloquently.
Writers know how to make words dance, while editors make sure words stick to the publication’s rhythm. 
We recognise your contribution to the newsroom and your investment in our stories. You make our research load lighter when you recommend leads or share interesting tips or tricks you have learned during your time as an editor. You are at the centre of a newsroom’s synergy, responsible for bringing the writing community together. 

“I know that it is not the easiest job, and often, it can be the least rewarding, but I want you to know that I appreciate the feedback, the mentorship, the various back and forth,” says Naeemah Dundan, Journalist from Hashtag Our Stories

“It can be frustrating, but it is only shaping me into a better journalist, a better writer and a better storyteller. So thank you for pushing me to be my best and for always believing in my capabilities.”

Conversations with your editor can change your perspective on not only your writing style, but on the world too. They challenge us in both a professional and personal capacity to become the best writers and the best version of ourselves. 

Kayleen Morgan, multimedia Journalist at EWN, shares this sentiment in her tribute to her editor:

“Deshnee Subramany has not been my editor for a long time, but in the short period that she has been my boss, she's changed the way I see myself on the value chain as a visual journalist [and] made me aware of my capabilities in other arenas.

“Her leadership style has allowed for uncapped creativity and an open environment to communicate our feelings, desires and concerns, which to me is important in a boss. I appreciate having her not only as my boss but as a woman in the newsroom.” 

Remember to give your editors the kudos they deserve. Let’s back them as much as they back us!

Would you like to pay tribute to your editor? Share it with us in the comments section below.

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Now, to make sure that your editor’s hard work doesn’t go to dust, be sure to check out these Six mistakes you’re making when distributing your content, and be sure to avoid them in future.
*Image courtesy of Vecteezy