How do I Become a City Editor?

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  • Written By: K. Testa
  • Edited By: Michelle Arevalo
  • Last Modified Date: 21 November 2019
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A city editor is a professional newspaper section editor whose primary focus is the city or metropolitan area served by the paper. To become a city editor, one often must work his or her way up from a reporter position. He or she might move up from within the organization or from a smaller publication to a larger one. Excellent writing skills are usually essential, along with several years of professional experience. Section editor positions are typically achieved after establishing one’s professional reputation and having a significant amount of work published.

A background in journalism or communications is usually necessary to be a newspaper reporter or editor. For many positions, a bachelor’s degree in one of those fields is adequate. Prior to applying for professional positions, many aspiring journalists also complete internships to improve their writing skills and familiarize themselves with the business. After a sufficient amount of time working as a journalist, one might then try to become a city editor at a newspaper.

Section editors frequently specialize in a particular type of news. For example, one might focus on an area such as business or sports. In the case of someone hoping to become a city editor, he or she generally concentrates on the politics, news, and other major events associated with his or her city or metropolitan area.


Various other skills are typically needed in order to become a city editor. Examples of these might include attention to detail, along with the ability to multitask and meet deadlines. People skills are usually necessary, since the city editor often works with a number of other reporters. The job normally requires the capability to supervise other staff members and delegate responsibilities. Possessing computer and Internet knowledge is important as well, since much of the news is online. A city editor must usually demonstrate proficiency at finding and assigning the most newsworthy stories. Furthermore, the responsibility for meeting tight deadlines entails working well under pressure.

Working for an average or large newspaper, a city editor usually reports to an executive editor. There might be several editors on the staff, each with distinct job duties. To become a city editor at a smaller publication, however, he or she might be required to assume extra administrative responsibilities. For example, he or she might need to demonstrate some experience with budgeting, advertising, or any additional areas that do not have staff members assigned to them.


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