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How do I Become an Editor-In-Chief?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated: Mar 02, 2024

If you hope to become an editor-in-chief, getting as much experience as possible in writing, editing, reporting and leadership is crucial. This is a top editor position that requires the highest level of skill, knowledge, talent and passion. The good news is that creating and managing your own quality online publication can allow you to become an editor-in-chief who may be considered for hire by other publications.

All of the work you do must show that you're a competent professional. If you want to start an online publication that is successful and showcases your editor-in-chief skills, you'll have to always take care to do your absolute best. Ethical reporting without any typos or grammar mistakes needs to be your standard. You also have to be able to provide effective leadership for your team of writers and editors by ensuring they meet your high standards. Your ability to motivate and inspire others is important if you hope to become an editor-in-chief.

Remember that having your own magazine online is a business even though it is small and won't cost you much in overhead. You'll still have to attract readers and have a payroll for your staff. Your name will be on your publication; if you hope to become an editor-in-chief for someone else some day, you must manage your online magazine or newspaper extremely well. Before starting your publication, plan it well and familiarize yourself with all of the needed business tasks and editorial duties. If you don't already have the training, writing and editing background needed to make your website effort strong and professional, get the skills you need before starting your own online publication.

Even if you're not currently in school, still take the necessary time to research the desirable qualities of an editor-in-chief and keep improving your skills. If you are in school, whether that is high school, college or university, get involved in the student newspaper. If you strive to become an editor-in-chief as a future career, hone your writing skills and mentor aspiring writers.

You should keep climbing the editorial job ladder as you keep improving your journalism and leadership skills. If you can get your foot in the door in editorial assisting and keep doing well, you're likely to keep moving up to increasingly higher editing positions until you eventually have the opportunity to become an editor-in-chief. Your experience as the editor-in-chief of your own quality publication may help you get work editing the websites of other Internet publications so you can keep building your resume.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By Feryll — On Mar 26, 2014

This article mentions that operating an online publication is a good way to hone your editor-in-chief skills. This can also be done at small newspapers. Many small town papers are owned, published, edited and written by the same person, with varying amounts of assistance.

By Sporkasia — On Mar 25, 2014

Most of the larger publication I have worked with do not use the title editor in chief. Instead of one person doing the tasks that someone holding this title would oversee, the publications have several editors and publishers who handle the tasks.

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