In news production, be it broadcast, print or online, the role of the Editor in ensuring smooth consumption of information cannot be overemphasized.
The Editor being the final gate keeper of any piece before it gets to the public domain plays a critical role; however, little attention is given to support editors in carrying out their responsibilities.
This is more difficult with the emergence of the new media which provides an individual whether professional or not the opportunity to be the reporter, editor and even Publisher.
This has led to a number of flaws in the output of news contents on several news mediums especially the online platforms.
It was against this backdrop that Africa Media Development Foundation (AMDF) on Tuesday, 18th September 2018 held its 2nd Editors Workroom; a platform that brings together Editors from different organizations to examine issues editors’ encounter in carrying out their duties.
In a Paper titled: The Editor, Mr. Joseph Edegbo, Managing Editor of Africa Prime News (APN) noted that “the Editor’s position is not necessarily a comfortable one; carrying a heavy price in the discharge of the Responsibilities commiserate with their powers.”
Therefore, for an editor to carry out his responsibilities effectively, he/she must build a sense of responsibility towards “the State, the Proprietor, Readers, and his conscience”.
As a good editor, “it is important to delegate authority and know how best to tap the available talents in his office; as no Editor can possibly be an expert in all fields; while he also mentors people he/she works with”.
Edegbo enjoined Editors especially upcoming ones to “always improve on their vocabulary by continuous reading of books like novels and other well written articles. Always read about well accomplished editors and journalists; also monitor other stations, paying special attention on how they report the same story you edited”.
One of the major issues highlighted during an interactive session was the poor output of stories; in structure and grammar recorded on most news mediums. This was traced to an unhealthy influx of untrained people into journalism practice, low capacity among some professionals, laziness and nonchalance towards professional development on the part of many practitioners.
To address this, there is the need for journalists to continually develop their capacity and take positive steps that will make non professionals feel irrelevant in the profession.
Also, Media Organizations must ensure a consistent training and re-training of their reporters and editors.