The designation of assignments is an essential part of all newspaper, television, and radio publication companies. Assignment editors are highly trained journalism professionals that determine which writers and reporters will cover a particular topic or story.
What does an assignment editor do?
Assignment editors choose, create, and organize writing and reporting assignments such as feature stories and news events. They examine a variety of news releases and news tips to create a variety of newsworthy assignments. They often interact with the public to obtain valuable information such as disaster alerts, complaints about companies, or extraordinary events. They also use police scanners and traffic reports to gain valuable information. Once assignment editors choose a variety of news topics they decide which writer or reporter to assign stories based on skills, experience, and expertise. Sometimes assignment editors choose many reporters for major stories to cover different angles.
What kind of training does an assignment editor need?
Assignment editors usually need at least a bachelor degree in English, journalism, communications, or other related area. Most employers prefer to hire applicants with sufficient writing experience. Prospective assignment editors often complete courses in mass communications, media editing, television and radio production, and English. Many aspiring assignment editors gain practical experience by working for small college and local newspapers or radio and television stations. Many assignment editors begin their careers as writers or reporters and advance to editing positions as they gain skills and experience. Most employers provide on the job training to enable new assignment editors to learn the necessary policies and procedures. Some assignment editors begin by completing simple tasks and move on to more advanced duties as they gain experience. Assignment editors must complete continuing education and training to keep their skills current and stay up to date with advancements in the field.
What are the prospects for a career as an assignment editor?
Employment for assignment editors is expected to experience little or no change through 2018 (1). The consolidation of a variety of print media companies will contribute to the halt in job growth.
Job prospects are expected to be fair with keen competition. Assignment editors with extensive experience will have the best job opportunities. Those seeking employment with online publications will have favorable job prospects.
How much do assignment editors make?
As of 2011, the average annual salary for assignment editors is $44,000; average annual assignment editor salaries vary greatly on location, employer, education, experience, and benefits (2).
A career as an assignment editor is an excellent choice for individuals with a strong interest in writing and directing the assignments for publications. Assignment editors must have a solid understanding of journalism and the necessary editing procedures. Detail orientation, self-confidence, perseverance, and good leadership skills are necessary characteristics. Assignment editors must have excellent communication and the ability to effectively motivate others. They must be able to work under stress and pressure to meet specific deadlines.
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