News editors are crucial for radio newsroom. They may work as part of the news team or will oversee the stories completed by the journalists. Some news editors will work for just one station while others will work for a network of stations. Here is all you need to know about the role of news editors.
Editors are in charge of critiquing stories, scripts and even headlines to ensure that they are factual, neat and compliant with the law. They set the agenda in accordance with the station’s style, brand and listenership.
They will need to be creative with how news is presented and will have to be up to date with local events. It’s also important that they understand what’s going on nationally and internationally and to see how they affect the local area. They will double-check information and follow-up with interviewees.
It’s not unusual for news editors to work long hours during the week and weekends.
It’s essential to have strong communication skills as a news editor. This is because they are required to liaise with fellow employees, management, heads of other departments, the public, celebrities and outside bodies. They need to be able to demonstrate sound editorial judgement and be able to draw on previous experiences to make decisions.
Having a desire for investigation, being well organised and analytical are traits that every news editor should have. As a leader, it’s important that they can motivate the team and be able to delegate work to others who are capable of producing good quality journalism.
Many news reporters or news readers will become a news editor after they have spent time crafting their skills. Taking up a bachelor’s degree in journalism or broadcast communications is a typical route for many budding reporters. However, it’s not always necessary.
Some radio journalists work their way up the ranks of the station to eventually take on the role of news editor. News editors can progress on to bigger stations with larger audiences or joining a group of stations. Others move into television and print journalism or go into senior management.
Before you become one, there is a wide range of topics and editorial issues that news editors need to know. Fortunately, these skills can be picked up by working as a broadcast journalist or news reporter beforehand.
It’s essential to understand media law and radio industry regulations, as well as demonstrating a practical application of that knowledge.
Employers will often offer their employees training opportunities to upskill and keep their knowledge up to date. This will depend on the size of the organisation and could consist of in-house training.
Skills in basic management will be required to become a news editor to ensure that you can efficiently lead the team. These skills can be taught either in-house or by attending night school or short day release courses.
For those who want to progress further into higher management, a course in professional development at college or university will be required.