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What is a Financial Editor?

By Bethany Keene
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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A financial editor is one who works on a newspaper and is in charge of the financial section. He or she may also be referred to as a section editor or desk editor; this means he is in charge of this one particular section of the paper, but generally reports to the managing editor of the entire newspaper. A financial editor is responsible for all of the content in the financial section of the paper, which means assigning articles to reporters and editing the articles when they are turned in, among other duties.

The financial editor will generally need to meet frequently with the managing editor, as well as the other section editors, to discuss the newspaper and the type of content that should be included. He or she will then take those ideas, and go to the various reporters who work in the financial section of the paper and assign articles; reporters may also be responsible for coming up with their own ideas and submitting them to the financial editor for approval. The articles will generally be a mix of hard news and soft news.

Hard news is current events in the financial world, for example, whereas soft news may be more human interest stories such as ideas for saving money on utility bills. The financial editor will need to choose which of these articles will be published in each edition of the newspaper; hard news will usually take precedence over human interest stories. It is important that the financial section of the newspaper remain informative while still capturing the interest of the reader.

Each article that is published in the newspaper is generally checked by the financial editor to make sure there are no stylistic or grammatical errors. A copy editor may also work on the article to check for items such as punctuation, or to create catchy headlines. Typically, the reporter who writes the article is responsible for his or her own fact-checking, but this can vary depending on the size of the newspaper.

Generally, one who wants to become a financial editor will have a four year college degree in journalism or communications, and often a dual degree in a business or financial field. Some may even have experience working in the finance industry. He or she will generally begin working on a newspaper in an entry-level position such as copy editing, and may then become a reporter or a staff writer before eventually becoming an editor.

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Discussion Comments
By ShellM89 — On Jun 17, 2011

@BreeZee22 – My cousin actually had the same major and minor and he works as a financial editor for a magazine so you don’t have to work for a newspaper; and I would say with your friend’s education a job as a financial editor is not out of reach.

Just as important as the education are some of the other skills needed in this career. You really need strong writing and research skills, and the ability to work under pressure, since you will need to provide good information on a deadline.

There are also opportunities to work for online companies that publish financial articles and information. And I don’t know why you couldn’t freelance as a consultant to web publishers and book publishers.

If you work for a company that is on the Internet I think you might also need at least some knowledge in areas such as search engine optimization and web development. Have her check out the various job sites on the Internet to get an idea of what is available and what they require.

By BreeZee22 — On Jun 15, 2011

I have a friend who is majoring in business with a minor in journalism. Would that prepare her for being a financial editor or does her major need to be journalism?

Are financial editors found in other industries besides the newspaper business? Are there opportunities for freelance work?

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