Magazine features editor: job description

Magazine features editors oversee the content and quality of magazine publications and ensure that features are topical, interesting and informative.

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They plan the features section of the magazine, supervise writers and set deadlines.

What do features editors do? Typical employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

Typical responsibilities of the job include:

  • selecting articles for issues and planning publication contents
  • generating ideas for articles and features
  • organising meetings with writers and designers to discuss and plan the features section of the magazine
  • commissioning features and stories from in-house writers or freelancers
  • supervising staff, including freelance writers, and setting deadlines
  • reading, writing and researching features and articles
  • rewriting, editing, proofreading and subbing copy to ensure it is ready to go to press
  • attending relevant events, fairs and conferences
  • ensuring that all feature articles comply with ethical codes of practice and legal guidelines.

Typical employers of features editors

  • Major commercial publishers (such as Future plc or Ascential)
  • Smaller specialist publishers
  • Online and digital media publishers
  • Consumer magazines
  • ‘In-house’ magazines for corporate customers
  • Customer ‘loyalty’ publications
  • Newspaper supplements
  • Business to business magazines

Vacancies are advertised via the internet, in the publication that is recruiting, Press Gazette , Campaign , Broadcast and their respective websites. Speculative applications are advisable because some jobs are not advertised. Using contacts within the industry can be a good way to find out about opportunities. A few employers operate graduate trainee schemes.

Qualifications and training required

Although you do not technically need a degree to become a features editor, entry into the profession without a degree is now unusual.

The role is not available to entry-level candidates, so previous experience and training is essential. Recent graduates typically enter in the role of editorial assistant . An English or media studies degree or a qualification accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) may be advantageous. The NCTJ offers a qualification in magazine journalism that covers many of the fundamental skills required for the position. Working on a student magazine can often provide a good introduction to magazine journalism. Specialist knowledge or a scientific or technical background may be required for some vacancies. Prior relevant experience is essential.

To find out how to get into a career in editorial via a school leaver route, visit the media section of TARGETcareers , our website aimed at school leavers.

Key skills for features editors

  • Good general and current affairs knowledge
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • IT skills
  • Creativity
  • Confidence
  • Organisational skills
  • Determination and resilience

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