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An editor (formerly chief editor; in Switzerland editor in chief ) than press law responsible and senior editor in charge and supervisor of the overall editing for the content of a newspaper , magazine , online publication and other media . In this context, “managerial” is to be understood as an entrepreneurial function, that is to say ensuring the editorial operations within the framework of the editorial strategy. Separate from this is the frequently used title of "senior editor". Editors usually receive this designation because of their length of service; it usually expresses a specialization within the editorial team. As a rule, these are the departments assessed by the editorial team. The “senior editor” is part of the specialist editorial team. Budget management and content-related guideline competence are decisive for exercising a management function. At the public broadcasting corporations, the heads of the current political editorial offices bear the title of editor-in-chief . In the meantime almost all daily newspapers also have an online editorial team with their own editor-in-chief.


The editor-in-chief leads the editorial work and implements the journalistic guideline in the interests of the publisher or editor . Occasionally it lays down the political guidelines of the journalistic unit . He not only heads the editorial team in terms of journalism, but also organizationally and economically. He can also manage and edit a department at the same time . In some newspapers or magazines , the publishers are also the editors-in-chief (such as the FAZ ) or there is an editor-in-chief with several members, as in the 1970s at the Süddeutsche Zeitung . A few national media such as the Swiss weekly newspaper do not have an editor-in-chief.

In addition to his journalistic duties, the editor-in-chief also has to check the articles of the editors subordinate to him and give them orders for articles. He is therefore responsible and responsible for the coordination, organization, management and control of the editorial team . In addition, the personnel decisions and the administration of the budget are usually subject to him. In addition, he is responsible for representing the newspaper / magazine in public. To the extent that the editor-in-chief is responsible in terms of press law, he is legally liable for the content of the articles published in the newspaper. In order to exempt the editor-in-chief from liability issues, a so-called seat editor was sometimes appointed.

Former editors-in-chief of major publications




  • Edigna Menhard, Tilo Treede: The magazine. From the idea to the marketing (= practical journalism series . Vol. 57). UVK-Verlags-Gesellschaft, Konstanz 2004, ISBN 3-89669-413-8 .

Web links

Wiktionary: Editor-in-chief  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations