Roles and Responsibilities of Editors

#GV2015 Citizen Media Summit 01/23. Photo by Laura Schneider C. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Global Voices Citizen Media Summit in Cebu. Photo by Laura Schneider C. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

This document outlines the goals and responsibilities for editors working across all sites and subjects, as members of staff or volunteers.

Editorial Roles

There are two editorial roles within Global Voices in English:

  • Newsroom editors: Divided into regional editors, subject editors and language editors, they work for the Newsroom coordinating the production of original posts. Some of these editors are volunteers.
  • Lingua editors: They are the site managers for non-English sites, facilitating the translation of newsroom posts into the languages covered by Lingua. Active sites have at least one editor, and if the site does not have an active editor, the Lingua Manager becomes the de facto editor. The majority of these editors are volunteers.

The difference between language editors and Lingua editors is that language editors manage the production of content (either in English or a local language) and recruit authors, while Lingua Editors coordinate the translation of content into the language of their Lingua sites and recruiting translators. Newsroom editors are the ones responsible for making decisions about the content of a post.

All editors are part of the Global Voices Leadership Team either as paid staff or in a volunteer capacity. Some work is paid with a modest monthly stipend.

Regional editors

Regional editors are responsible for providing as broad and complete coverage as possible of citizen media in the countries of their regions.

We have regional editors for:

Subject editors

Subject editors are meant to scan citizen media of the entire world for stories related to their subject. We have subject editors for:

Language editors

Language editors are responsible for writing and editing stories on Global Voices that reference citizen media in their languages, regardless of geography. For instance, French and Portuguese cover different parts of Africa, and also in some cases Europe.

We have language editors for:

Lingua editors

Lingua Editors are responsible for management of translations and the translators’ community. They are community managers for their teams, subeditors for translations and marketers of published translations.

Your role as editor

These guidelines give an overview of what the general workload for Global Voices editors should be. In addition to editing and publishing posts or translations, editors also recruit and train new authors or translators and are responsible for keeping a happy community of volunteers.

This is a labor of love!

Publishing

Some content editors have fewer bloggers in their regions, some have difficulty recruiting volunteers, and a number of editors deliver more than the minimum required. Editors should fact-check and add context, where necessary, to all stories. Stories may be written by the editor or by volunteer authors and maybe English translations of stories originally published (under the supervision of the newsroom editor) on a Lingua website. Republications from partner organizations also count towards publishing targets, though the majority of posts should originate from Global Voices. Stories may be published on https://globalvoices.org/, or on the Rising Voices or Advox sites, after coordination with the directors of those sections.

We recognize that some posts require several hours of editing, and the minimum number of published posts required varies accordingly to these challenges and also whether an editor is a paid staff member or a volunteer. See below the current minimum goals per category.

For newsroom editors (paid contractors):

  • Posts: 2-7 stories per week, depending on your contract. These posts can either be written by volunteer authors or the editor or in special cases be republications from other blogs. Suggested word limit is 1,000 words (less is often better). If published in a language other than English, translation also has to be provided.
  • Special coverage/breaking news: In times of emergency, posting should be as much as possible, as soon as possible, as needed. Support will be given in these situations — contact the managing editorial team for assistance and guidance. See How to Cover Breaking News for more.

For volunteer newsroom editors

  • Posts: At least one post per month. These posts can either be written by volunteer authors or the editor or in special cases be republications from other blogs. Suggested word limit is 1,000 words (less is often better). If published in a language other than English, translation also has to be provided.
  • Special coverage/breaking news: In times of emergency, posting should be as much as possible, as soon as possible, as needed. Support will be given in these situations — contact the managing editorial team for assistance and guidance. See How to Cover Breaking News for more.

Community management

Editors should foster a strong sense of community among volunteer regional team members by leading and encouraging conversation and collaboration on platforms such as Google Groups, WhatsApp, and Facebook.

Volunteer recruitment: Editors are expected to recruit volunteer team members with varying backgrounds and perspectives.

Internal communications: Editors are expected to put in place and adhere to the measures outlined in Communication and Safety Guidelines for GV Staff in their contracts and to uphold the principles outlined in the Global Voices Community Ethics Policy.

Partnerships: Working together with the editorial team, editors should make an effort to seek out and cultivate partnerships with like-minded organizations, and republish relevant partner content on the GV site.

Newsroom communication

Editors are expected to:

  • attend virtual chats with the newsroom every 6-8 weeks
  • participate and encourage discussions on the Slack newsroom channel
  • fill in their log book every week

Distribution and social media

Editors are encouraged to promote Global Voices content on their networks and work with the social media team to engage with audiences on Global Voices social media accounts. Editors are also encouraged to set up and manage regional social media accounts.

Online sources

Editors should maintain a robust set of sources to stay on top of regional social, political and activism trends. Editors are encouraged to develop lists or a database of reliable and vetted online sources across their region.

Communication and availability

If editors are traveling or unavailable, they must communicate this to their team, and assign a stand-in if necessary (either one of the other editors, a qualified author or translator, or managing editor).

If there will be more than a couple of days’ delay publishing a volunteer's post, this should be communicated to the author or translator directly. Communicating clearly and regularly with our community members is key, and probably one of the greatest challenges of the job. Use Google Groups, instant messaging, chat, email — whatever works.

Waiting more than a few days to respond to a volunteer is unacceptable.

On the other hand, editors can let volunteers know that they do not respond to emails on weekends or other self-chosen “private” days.

Breaks

Newsroom editors may take breaks, and Global Voices will cover replacement costs for two weeks per year.

Before taking breaks, editors have to:

  • Assign a person of their choice to stand in, with the approval of the managing editor (editor stand-ins are compensated)
  • Make sure the stand-in is trained, has editing privileges, and knows sub-editing and publishing protocols
  • Inform the stand-in of exact dates of leave, details on how to invoice the finance manager; the stand-in will be paid after they invoice the finance manager (pay will be included in next upcoming bi-monthly pay)
  • Inform the managing editor of plans at least two weeks in advance, by completing the GV Contractor Time-off Form.

Volunteer Lingua editors may take the breaks they need, but they must ensure they will communicate any plans to their teams as well as to the Lingua manager, and assign a deputy.