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The editor holds the top position at a magazine or newspaper. They are responsible for the entire publication including its factual content, layout, themes and advertising. The editor will plan and direct all activity within the editorial department during production and must approve all material before anything is sent to press.
The duties of an editor will vary depending on the size and nature of the publication but, in all cases, the editor will have the last word on what is to be published and what is to be rejected. They will work closely with all teams within a publication in order to delegate effectively, oversee progress and make decisions for future activity.
As the figurehead of the publication, the editor will often be invited to relevant press events and product launches in the hope that they will feature a brand, person, product or service in the publication. The editor will also decide what events to sponsor and will organise events in order to promote the publication.
In smaller publications, the editor will also be in charge of negotiating and maintaining a budget for production and will put together targets for overall performance, including revenue and circulation. For larger companies, this would typically be the responsibility of the managing editor or an accountant.
The editor is also responsible for the development and motivation of all the staff working on a publication. The position comes with a large amount of power, responsibility and therefore accountability, particularly those working for publications which enjoy widespread circulation.
A magazine will normally have just one editor, whereas a large newspaper may have several, each focusing on a certain aspect of the publication, for example a sports editor, a news editor, a political editor etc.