Production editors play a key role in the creation of written content for books, magazines, newspapers, or online media. These editors generally oversee work from content-creators through a variety of editing and creation stages from development to final publication, and may also be responsible for bringing together a variety of participants, from writers and copy editors to layout designers and even employees from art/creative departments. For online content-providers, they may also engage in the final input and coding of pieces before posting.
The production processes that they supervise typically begin with production/pitch meetings, in which the editor and creative parties determine a piece's subject and scope; this can include length, access for interviews or discussions, artwork, photography, and layout. These meetings also involve an expected publication window, and from this discussion the production editor will set a series of deadlines for each phase of the work.
Production editors also examine layouts and creative ideas, which can include minute tasks such as deciding between fonts but may also involve arranging art or photography. In many cases, production editors work with digital assets managers to acquire usage rights for photos and other media as necessary, such as music or film clips for online publications. For smaller online content-providers, production editors may be involved in proofreading, editing, and even coding for digital publication. For this reason, some employers may prefer applicants with fluency in various online publishing languages, such as HTML or Java.
Most employers prefer applicants with outstanding written and verbal communication skills, and applicants should have a degree in communication, journalism, or a related field. Production editors typically work long hours during the week, but may be required to work irregular hours depending on particular deadlines.
Production Editor Tasks
Develop story or content ideas.
Supervise and coordinate work of reporters and other editors.
Ensure adherence to a style guide, correct formatting and consistent use of language within a document.
Review, rewrite and edit the work of writers.