Editing

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See Wikipedia:How to edit a page for information on editing Wikipedia.

Editing is the process of preparing language, images, or sound for presentation through correction, condensation, organization, and other modifications. A person who edits, especially professionally or as a hobby, is called an editor.

Professionals may specialize in the editing of writing, still images, cinema/video, sound recordings, and music recordings. These areas sometimes overlap depending on the project. For example, language editors may comment on or make alterations to graphics and photographs embedded in a job that mostly comprises language; sound editors may make alterations in the linguistic text of, for example, a sound interview, to improve the intended meaning or reduce the duration of an item.

Contents

[edit] Etymology

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, editor \comes from the Latin phrase e ditus which means "to put forward". The editor ludorum in Ancient Rome was the person who put on the games. The verb to edit is a back formation from editor.

[edit] Print media

There are various levels of editorial positions in publishing. Typically one finds junior editorial assistants reporting to the senior level editorial managers and directors, who themselves report to senior executive editors responsible for project development to final releases. Human editors in the print publishing industry include people who are responsible for:

  • Newspapers and wire services; see below.
  • Organizing anthologies and other compilations.
  • Organizing and publishing a magazine. The top editor may be called editor-in-chief. Those who get the magazine into the hands of readers and subscribers, even, have editorial titles and are called circulation editors. Frequent and esteemed contributors to a magazine may acquire the title editor at-large.
  • Producing a definitive edition of a classic author's works—a scholarly editor.
  • Organizing and managing contributions to a multi-author book — symposium editor or volume editor.
  • Finding marketable ideas and presenting them to appropriate authors — a sponsoring editor.
  • Obtaining copy or recruiting authors — such as the acquisitions editor or commissioning editor for a publishing house.
  • Improving an author's writing so that they indeed say what they want to say, in an effective manner — a substantive editor. Depending on the writer's skill, this editing can sometimes turn into ghost writing. Substantive editing is seldom a title. Many types of editors do this type of work, either in-house at a publisher or on an independent basis.
  • Correcting spelling, grammar, and matters of house style—a copy editor. But copy editors at newspapers usually also have greater and higher responsibilities, which may include the design of pages and the selection of news stories for inclusion. At UK newspapers, the term is "sub-editor."
  • Choosing the layout of the publication and communicating with the printer — a production editor. This and similar jobs are also called "layout editor," "design editor," "news designer," or—more so in the past—"makeup editor."

The smaller the publication, the more these roles run together. In particular, the substantive editor and copy editor often overlap: Fact-checking and rewriting can be the responsibility of either.

[edit] Executive editor

The top editor sometimes has the title executive editor or editor-in-chief (the former is replacing the latter in the language). This person is generally responsible for the content of the publication. The exception is that newspapers that are large enough usually have a separate editor for the editorials and opinion pages in order to have a complete separation of its news reporting and its editorial content.

The executive editor sets the publication standards for performance, as well as for motivating and developing the staff. The executive editor is also responsible for developing and maintaining the publication budget. In concert with the publisher and the operating committee, the executive editor is responsible for strategic and operational planning.

[edit] Newspapers

Editors at newspapers supervise journalists and improve their work. Newspaper editing encompasses a variety of titles and functions. These include:

  • Copy editors
  • Department editors
  • Managing editors and assistant or deputy managing editors (the managing editor is often second in line after the top editor)
  • News editors, who oversee the news desks
  • Photo or picture editors
  • Section editors and their assistants, such as for business, features, and sports
  • Editorial Page Editor who oversees the coverage on the editorial page. This includes chairing the Editorial Board and assigning editorial writing responsibilities. The editorial page editor may also oversee the op-ed page or those duties are assigned to a separate op-ed editor.
  • Top editors, who may be called editor in chief or executive editor
  • Readers' editors, sometimes known as the ombudsman, who arbitrate complaints
  • Wire editors, who choose and edit articles from various international wire services, and are usually part of the copy desk
  • Administrative editors (who actually don't edit but perform duties such as recruiting and directing training)

The term city editor is used differently in North America, where it refers to the editor responsible for the news coverage of a newspaper's local circulation area (also sometimes called metro editor), and in the United Kingdom, where (normally with a capital C) it refers to the editor responsible for coverage of business in the City of London and, by extension, coverage of business and finance in general.

[edit] Scholarly books and journals

Editors of scholarly books and journals are of three types, each with particular responsibilites: the acquisitions editor, who contracts with the author to produce the copy, the project editor, who sees the copy through its stages from manuscript through bound book and usually assumes most of the budget and schedule responsibilities, and the copy editor, who performs the tasks of readying the copy for conversion into printed form.

The primary difference between copy editing scholarly books and journals and other sorts of copy editing lies in applying the standards of the publisher to the copy. Most scholarly publishers have a preferred style guide, usually a combination of Merriam-Webster's New Collegiate and either the APA Publication Manual, The Chicago Manual of Style, or the MLA Style Manual. The issues of most concern relate to the completeness and correctness of the cited sources and the scholarly form of the presentation.

[edit] Technical editing

Technical editing involves reviewing text written on a technical topic, and identifying errors related to the use of language in general or adherence to a specific style guide.

This activity ensures that documentation is of good quality. In large companies, experienced writers are dedicated to the technical editing function; in organizations that cannot afford dedicated editors, experienced writers typically peer-edit text produced by their relatively less experienced colleagues.

It helps if the technical editor is familiar with the subject being edited, but that is not always essential. The "technical" knowledge that an editor gains over time while working on a particular product or technology does give the editor an edge over another who has just started editing content related to that product or technology. In the long run, however, the skills that really matter are attention to detail, the ability to sustain focus while working through lengthy pieces of text on complex topics, tact in dealing with writers, and excellent communication skills.

[edit] Visual media

Editors in the visual media, who may be described as film or video editors, perform a variety of tasks. Assistant editors and production assistants perform preliminary screening and logging of motion picture footage; senior editors are responsible for creative placement of scenes and shots, structural placement of major elements and organization of the entire presentation. Other editors are involved with assembly of the final product and preparation for distribution.

See also related articles at film editing


[edit] External links

Professional associations:

Online resources:

Articles:

de:Redakteur fr:Édition (document) he:עריכה id:Redaktur ja:編集者 no:Redaktør nl:Redacteur pl:Redakcja pt:Edição jornalística zh:編輯

Editing

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