Let’s look at the editorial staff of a large national daily newspaper.

The editor has overall responsibility for the newspaper’s policy and content. The editor also takes final responsibility for the newspaper being accurate and good. Assistant editors assist her or him.

The news editor takes responsibility for what news gets into the newspaper. The news editor also allocates stories to the different journalists, and meets daily with the journalists to plan and get report-backs on how stories are going.

The chief sub-editor makes sure that the newspaper looks good, and is attractive to its readers.

Below the chief sub-editor come the sub-editors. They read the stories that the journalists bring in, and edit them. They make sure that the story has an interesting angle (focus) that will grab readers’ attention. They also make sure that the spelling and grammar is correct. Sub-editors may also assist with the layout of certain pages of the newspaper and work on headlines, along with specialist editors.

A big newspaper will have various specialist editors who are responsible for different aspects of the newspaper. They could include development, finance, entertainment, politics, a particular continent, and health. This is who the journalist submits his or her story to. You get different levels of seniority of journalists, depending on their experience, talent with writing, and expertise.

Photographers go out with journalists on their stories, and they hand their photographs over to the photo editor.

In a big newspaper, journalists do not have the final say on how their stories will turn out. They cannot even control what the headline of their story says. In fact, journalists (especially juniors) do not even have control over whether their story gets into the newspaper. If the editors do not like it for whatever reason, then they can ‘spike’ it. This means it will land in the trash. Journalists must meet their newspapersí deadlines. Newspapers also have press deadlines which is when the newspaper is laid out with photographs and all news and articles are sent to the printers. Journalists work under enormous pressure. It helps to understand life in a newspaper or other media, so that when you are relating to journalists, you understand the pressure they work under.