Are Features Editors Doomed?

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

More frightening thoughts for print journalists:

> For print newspapers to continue to exist at all, their production must become radically more efficient, and for journalism to thrive, energies and efforts must be redirected at digital media and new products. > If you are a wire editor or features editor, your odds of surviving in such a position until retirement are slim to none. Those jobs are obsolete. We can not save a system in which thousands of people sit around reinventing the wheel in parallel processes all around the country.

Once upon a time, I was a feature editor, before I accepted the editorial development job for the whole company. I’m not sure I agree that the job is entirely gone just yet – it needs to evolve into a wider “in-depth” content role, producing content for both print and web. But yes, expecting to hold a features editor job until retirement will only work if you’re retiring in the next few months.

That said, I also think we’ll see an increasing shift towards journalists becoming beat-defined, rather than content-type defined and, in that sense, the news reporter job is just as doomed as the feature writer. 
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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.