Roles and Responsibilities of Editors

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

#GV2015 Citizen Media Summit 01/23. 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 work for the translation project, facilitating the translation of these posts into the languages covered by Lingua. There is at least one editor for each Lingua site. The majority of these editors are volunteers.

The difference between language editors and Lingua editors is that language editors manage the production of original posts (either in English or in a local language) and recruit authors, while Lingua Editors work in the opposite direction, coordinating translation of posts into the language of their Lingua sites and recruit translators. Lingua editors are not responsible for editorial decisions.

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 of the countries in their regions.

We have regional editors for:

  • Caribbean
  • Caucasus & Central Asia
  • Eastern & Central Europe
  • Latin America
  • Middle East & North Africa
  • North East Asia
  • South Asia
  • South East Asia
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Brazil
  • Iran
  • Germany (volunteer)
  • Greece (volunteer)
  • Italy (volunteer)
  • Japan

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:

  • RunetEcho
  • Advocacy

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:

  • Portuguese
  • Spanish
  • French

Lingua editors

Lingua Editors are responsible for management of translations and the translators community. They coordinate teams of volunteer translators and edit translations into the various languages of the Lingua Project. See Lingua Editors Tasks to see how much work these volunteers do!

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. Publishing more than the minimum rate is warmly welcomed. The more bloggers from different countries we can link to, the better.

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 paid staff member or a volunteer. See below the current minimum goals per category.

For content editors (paid staff):

  • Posts: 4-6 per week. 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.
  • Quick reads: 5-10 per week. These posts can also either be written by volunteer authors or the editor. They are short and typically include only one link. 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 content 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.
  • Quick reads: At least one update per week. These posts can also either be written by volunteer authors or the editor. They are short and typically include only one link. 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.

Recruiting

Each editor is responsible for making good faith efforts to recruit and work with volunteers from different countries or languages groups, and for maintaining or belonging to a relevant Google Group. Content editors recruit authors, and Lingua editors recruit translators.

Content editors recruit writers who will be mainly producing original pieces for Global Voices. If using decentralised publishing, they may also recruit authors who write in their native language as well as English translators who can help translate the content for Global Voices in English.

Social networking

Editors should help to promote posts on social media, and encourage their authors and translators to promote their own posts too.

Communication and availability

In the event that editors are traveling or unavailable, they must communicate this to their team, and assign a deputy 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 wonderful 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.

Vacation

All regional editors, subject editors and language editors are entitled to two weeks of paid holiday a year. Before taking leave, editors have to assign a person of their choice to stand in for them, and inform the managing editor of their plans at least two weeks in advance. Editor stand-ins are compensated.

Volunteer Lingua editors can take as much holiday as they like, but they must ensure they will communicate any plans to their teams and assign a deputy.