Discover your career path

Newspaper Managing Editor

Oversee the day-to-day operations of a newspaper's editorial department.

What does a Newspaper Managing Editor do?

A Newspaper Managing Editor manages people, production processes, and page contents for a newspaper, which might be a daily newspaper in a big city or a weekly newspaper in a small town. Being a Newspaper Managing Editor means being one of the most influential people in the newsroom.

In the heyday of “yellow journalism” — which used sensationalism instead of news to sell newspapers at the turn of the 20th century — perhaps the most important job at a daily newspaper was that of Newsboy, or “Newsie.” Selling newspapers on street corners, they famously hawked them with the phrase, “Extra! Extra! Read all about it!”

Today, however, newspapers typically aren’t peddled on street corners. Instead, they’re sold online via tablet computers, and offline via newspaper boxes, newsstands, and subscriptions. The most important person at the modern newspaper, therefore, isn’t always the person who sells the headlines, but rather the person who chooses them, which often is the Newspaper Managing Editor.

When you’re a Newspaper Managing Editor, your typical duties include deciding what stories are newsworthy, assigning articles to Writers and Reporters, and enforcing the newspaper’s policies, procedures, and deadlines. You also supervise other Editors, including department and section heads, as well as Copyeditors. In addition, you assist the Editor-in-Chief.

Your list of duties also includes writing and editing articles, and reading, routing, and responding to inquiries from readers and Freelance Writers. On top of all that, you oversee layout and design, deciding, for instance, where in the newspaper — the front page, for example — stories should go.

Basically, you’re an Editor-in-Chief in training, running the nuts and bolts of the newspaper’s editorial department as its second in command, both managing and — what else? — editing!