Investigate events and people to tell the public what’s going on.
Every good Editor knows: All good stories have a beginning, middle and end. As luck would have it, the same is true of all good publications. Magazines, in particular, typically have three-part structures that include opening and closing sections — known as the “front of the book” and the “back of the book,” respectively — that are usually filled with short news stories, columns and departments. The third part, the middle, is known as the “feature well.”
As a Features Editor, that’s your domain. Filled with “feature” stories — long, in-depth articles that often are written with a narrative, instead of newsy, approach — it’s the meat of the magazine, which makes the Features Editor the Butcher.
In fact, you wield your red pen like a knife, cutting through content to make it informative, entertaining and grammatically correct, not to mention relevant, factual and appropriate for your audience. To do that, you manage all the articles in the feature well, from start to finish. That means developing story ideas, establishing word counts and pay rates, meeting with fellow Editors about issue content and themes, assigning articles to freelance Writers, editing and proofreading copy, overseeing article revisions and rewrites, and collaborating with Art Directors on layout and design.
Often, it also means writing some feature stories yourself, which requires you to research your subject, interview sources and, of course, write the final article — all on deadline.
As a Features Editor, you may manage people, including Associate Editors, Writers and Copy Editors (usually at magazines, although just as often at newspapers or websites). Ultimately, however, you manage words.