Editors from Hell: How They Make It Hard to Do Good Journalism


By Jack Limpert

They’re friendly with staff writers but let them know they don’t have time to talk about story ideas. They make writers first clear all story ideas with assistant editors.

They let a junior editor handle all contact with freelancers. If the query or submission is from an established writer, they let an assistant editor handle it until they have to look at it.

They avoid feedback from readers—it’s too negative and confusing.

They lunch mostly with other journalists, figuring if they can impress other journalists they’re more likely to be seen as a success.

They have an assistant editor track all journalism contests. When deciding what to publish, they always ask, “Could this win an award?”

They give art directors complete control of how a story is presented. Art directors know the latest design trends and the more cutting edge the design the more likely they are to win awards.

They put the best print stories online well before publication so they can maximize their social media and television exposure.

They stay in constant contact with everyone above them on the masthead.

They go to any conference attended by top executives from other publications. They keep their resume updated so they can quickly move on to their next job.

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