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What is a Business Editor?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 10 September 2016
  • Copyright Protected:
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A business editor is a media professional who is charged with the task of overseeing the reporting process of business news for a newspaper, magazine, or other type of periodical. In recent years, editors of this type have also filled the same basic role with online publications that provide access to news regarding business activities around the world. The exact scope of responsibilities assigned to a particular business editor will vary based on the type of publication involved, and the range of industries that are covered by that publication.

In a small town setting, the business editor at a local newspaper may serve as the editor for a small group of reporters who cover local business events. In this scenario, the editor assigns reporters to cover specific business-related events taking place in the community. At the same time, the business editor may also be responsible for picking up on national and international business news of interest that is likely to have an impact on the local economy, and creating articles that inform the readership of those events. It is not unusual for the business editor to be involved with a local chamber of commerce or other civic groups where interaction with local business leaders is common.

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In larger cities, or for publications with a national or international readership, the business editor is likely to oversee a much larger staff. Here, the focus is often on evaluating various submissions of business news, determining if they are in fact newsworthy, and prioritizing their placement within the proper business section in the publication. Editors of this type may also be called upon to conduct interviews with key figures who are of interest to the business community, include the Chief Executive Officers and Chief Financial Officers of major corporations, politicians, and governmental administrators or ministers whose activities have an impact on the business community.

As with most media management roles, a business editor normally holds a degree in journalism, as well as other credentials associated with some aspect of business management. It is not unusual for editors to begin their careers as reporters, eventually moving into an assistant editor position, and finally being promoted to the role of business editor. At some periodicals, there are mentoring programs that help to groom prospective candidates for editorship while still providing time for those employees to carry out their assigned duties. While there are exceptions, the process of reaching this goal can take a number of years, and involve a great deal of dedication and commitment.

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