As a Coach Counselor, free lance journalist and blogger, I’ve come to recognize the importance of being a good editor-in-chief. Of course, every media whether outlets, radio, TV, or internet, media have such a person who guards the content editing – among other management tasks. The editor decides what’s ”on” or ”off” and what piece of information do not fit into the parameters of what’s appropriate or acceptable.
In my long professional administrative and diplomatic life, I worked a lot with media and journalists. I met really all sorts of varying calibers and styles in journalists and editors’ profession. I mean there are those editors-in-chief who edit too loosely. As a matter of fact they tend to give ”freedom” to journalists notably in online media and news portals whereby leaving mistakes, abstruse sentences or plain old weak writing unchecked. Consequently, lacking vision, the authors neglect to establish a concrete focus for their publication. Creativity thrives, nevertheless, at the cost of order.
On the other side, there are those editors who edit too rigorously. They delete constantly whole paragraphs, replace author’s ideas and expressions with their own, until the original piece becomes hardly recognizable. The finished product might read perfectly, but it has practically become the editor’s creation, instead of yours.
What differentiates the really excellent editor from the mediocre is the rare knack of setting strong guidelines while at the same time allowing the unique talent and spirit of each author to shine through. The ideal editor may be a great writer himself and he may theoretically being able to express the same ideas and feelings presented in the article by his journalist associate. However, the editor understands his associate colleague’s need to author his independent creations. He also grasps that, in the end result, allowing his journalists/writers to express themselves in their own different and varied ways will result in a better article and a better publication.
Thus, though the editor himself may polish and improve final product before released, discarding, replacing and adding words, ideas or sentences in accordance with his established criteria and grand plan, the editor will also make sure to maintain the unique style of the author throughout. Hence, he will choose the author’s words and expressions over his own even while correcting or enhancing. Excellent editor and a colleague will also work together with the author to develop a piece that is on track, watching that it doesn’t lose focus and become sidetracked from its goal even while allowing the author’s exploration along the way.
Why did I use the editor’s metaphor in this text? Because we are also presented with many choices, and in these cloud of choices we become our own editor-in-chief and directors of our destiny.
Every path that we tread, every turn we take, composes a fresh new sentence, paragraph or chapter in our lives. These combine to develop into our unique life stories, worded with our contributions and innovations, styled by our special personality and talents, and marked with our mistakes and slip ups. Throughout it all, our ultimate Editor is overseeing our project, watching carefully that we don’t get sidetracked from our true area of responsibilities and goal, helping us to realize which choices might work better for us while still permitting us free choice.
Despite the Editor’s overgenerous guidelines to get us to our end-goal, he still enables us to find our own voice and to be director, editor-in-chief, author of our own unique creation, because that’s the way to get from us the very best story we can deliver.
It’s All Up To You!