Assignment Desk Editor

Coordinate news reports, check on leads, and ensure stories are accurate.
picture of Assignment Desk Editor

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$19,000 – $51,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Assignment Desk Editors do?

Being an Assignment Desk Editor means being the living, breathing nerve center of the newsroom. Assignment Desk Editors can find themselves working in a wide variety of formats: print, TV, radio, even one of a growing number of online video outlets. You coordinate news teams, check on individual Reporters, follow up on story leads and news tips, and, of course, check incoming content and copy for factual and grammatical errors.

The buck really stops with you. Everything that happens in any news organization passes through the Assignment Desk Editor at one point or another, and it’s all got to be perfect. From the excitement of a hot breaking story to the routine of checking for typos, you do it all.

You have your own desk in the newsroom, usually out in the open where everyone can see you and get your attention. Veteran Reporters and newbies alike come to you for advice or direction. There are also people out in the field you have to communicate with via telephone, text message, and email. Additionally, you coordinate with Producers to make sure that you and your news crews are producing enough content for your format (print issue, TV or radio show, etc.).

Deploying your resources efficiently for maximum coverage is a vital part of your job. The other extremely important thing you deal with every day is accuracy. Using your staff of researchers and interns, and your own years of experience and eye for detail, you make sure that everything your news outlet puts out is factually accurate.

You also need the ability to know when corrections (especially very specific, minute grammatical corrections) have been made in updated copy. It’s essential that you’re able to look at the same piece of writing multiple times and not gloss over it. On top of all that, you need a flair for dealing with deadlines, Supervisors, and subordinates all at the same time.

Your hours vary widely depending on your shift, publication deadline, and editorial schedule. Don’t expect a standard “nine-to-five.” You really need to love the news to do this job.

Should I be an Assignment Desk Editor?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.

  • Also known as: Page Designer

    How to become an Assignment Desk Editor

    Most Assignment Desk Editors have a Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:dfa9ha&chl=no+college+%285%25%29|certificate+%287%25%29||bachelor%27s+%2879%25%29|master%27s+%289%25%29|&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,5,79
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