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Regional daily editor surveys changing nature of role

A regional daily newspaper boss is carrying out a survey on how the role of an editor is evolving.

Alison Gow, editor of the Daily Post, North Wales, is carrying out the research as part of a masters’ degree in journalism leadership.

Among other things, she wants to find out how editors spend a typical day and how much of their time is spent on tasks such as financial planning and public relations as opposed to actual content shaping.

Alison, above left, is aiming to gather information from editors working in the UK regional press, or who have done so within the past decade.   Click here to take part in the survey.

Said Alison: “I am interested collecting industry views on the competencies attached to the editor’s role, including the tactical and strategic input, emerging responsibilities and likely future skills.

“The aim – through capturing the competencies and time demands on an individual’s day – is to provide a detailed analysis of what it means to edit a regional title in 2012, and where and how the role needs to develop in future.

“I’ve no idea what the findings will be but – for example – it might be that editors feel they spend more time on HR issues than they do shaping the tone and content of their title.”

Alison is currently studying for an MA University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) alongside her ‘day job’ of editing the Daily Post.

She added:  “Today’s newsroom is a very different beast to the one I started out in 20 years ago, and the role of the editor has obviously evolved as well.

“So I thought it would be interesting to evaluate how the competencies of editorial leaders have changed, and what skills editors will require – to look at what the role of the editor is becoming.

“But I do need other editors to share their experiences and views of skills they need as their roles change, hence the survey.

“If people can spare a few minutes to complete it, it would help me build a clear picture of what those at the sharp end think they need to do their job well in the future.”