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What Does a Website Editor Do?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Nancy Fann-Im
  • Last Modified Date: 02 November 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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A website editor curates and controls content on a website to meet the needs of its owners and users. Magazines, newspapers, and other publications use website editors to maintain editorial standards and provide a steady flow of new content for users. This work usually requires experience in the editing field along with a knowledge of how Internet media functions, and connections with members of the industry. Some colleges and universities offer training in this area, and many website editors get their experience on the job, working their way up through the ranks.

It is up to the website editor to maintain the editorial standards of the publication and select content that meets its mission and goals. An editor for an online veterinary magazine, for example, has an interest in content about topics in veterinary science, from medical ethics to discussions of the latest developments in treatment. The editor works closely with top executives to determine the type of content the publication needs, and the tone. She may hire subeditors who are tasked with handling different sections, each focusing on a particular area of interest.

Editors are responsible for finding and contracting new writers to generate content, whether they are seeking regular columnists or journalists for one-off coverage of a specific issue. They also need photographers, videographers, and other content producers for a multimedia website. When the site is redesigned, the website editor usually has input in this process and can discuss topics like layout, features, and user requests.

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Website editors typically delegate tasks to other personnel, rather than handling everything on their own. Subeditors may be directly responsible for working with writers, and may receive training from the website editor. If the publication also has print representation, the website editor can work with the print editor to discuss topics for coverage, special issues, and other matters that may impact both print and web. For example, a food magazine doing a dessert issue will want the website to tie in with dessert coverage as well, to present a harmonious appearance to readers of the magazine and the website.

This work can involve long hours, as a website editor often works with writers in different time zones and may need to respond to breaking news. At news sites in particular, web editors have to move fast to get stories up in response to news events around the world. This requires access to a large pool of writers who can generate stories quickly, along with maintenance of a staff of fact checkers, photographers, layout editors, and others who can get those stories ready for display as quickly as possible.

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