A deputy editor is an editing professional who may work in print, Internet, or video media. He or she typically assists the main editor, also called the editor in chief, in preparing films, magazines, books, newspapers, or websites for publication. Deputy editors typically have extensive training in their field and are generally considered mid-level employees.
Film editors take raw footage for a movie or television show and cut it together, adding sound, visual effects, and music to create a cut of a film. While once painstakingly done by hand, film editing is now almost entirely done through extremely fast computers. A deputy editor, also called an assistant editor, may cut sections of film under the supervision of the film editor. In addition, they may assist an editor in any way necessary, such as liaising with post-production houses or helping maintain databases. Many deputy editors have attended film school or worked as editors on student and low-budget films.
Magazines and newspapers often use deputy editors to edit and maintain specific sections of a publication under the supervision of an editor in chief. Most print editors come from a journalism or writing background and have experience in the field they are editing. He or she may or may not be in charge of proofreading stories, features, and columns; some publications have copy editors that cover the duty of spelling and grammar checks. A deputy editor must be able to skillfully condense and finesse articles that need finishing touches, as well as get along well with the writers and journalists under his or her position.
In the Internet world, a deputy editor functions much the same way as a print editor. They are given specific areas to cover and receive the rough draft of all articles in their domain that are intended for publication. One major area of Internet editing is fact-checking, as Internet sources can be notoriously unreliable. Conscientious editors must ensure that journalistic standards are upheld by checking the background of facts or claims made in an article.
Jobs for a deputy editor in any field may be quite hard to come by, especially as print media has significantly dwindled in the early 21st century. Many companies prefer to promote assistants or writers with a knack for editing, rather than bring in outside professionals. One of the best ways to get into this field is to establish a reputation as an excellent writer who turns in finished, proofread, and finessed pieces as often as possible.