Main Points

History is Now

Our authors, proofreaders, and researchers have important jobs to do; they are certainly expected to do them well and to perform their writing and research professionally. However, these are not the only tasks necessary to create a properly written essay. The voice of the author needs to come through. The information needs to be presented clearly, intelligently, dare I say... entertainingly. This is no mean task, and our editors are the ones we trust to help make that happen.

Ensuring Readability

When some people think of editing, they get it confused with proofreading. We certainly don't discourage editors from performing some proofreading or research either; sometimes it's necessary to do something a little different just to give your mind a break. While any professionally written article should use good grammar, the primary job of an editor is to make sure that articles are readable. Using good grammar is a good start, although I've also seen times that strict attention to the rules of grammar helped get someone deeper into trouble. However, readability is about word choice. Readability is about maintaining the flow of a sentence, a paragraph, and an entire article. There are all kinds of grammatically correct ways to write a sentence that you're supposed to realize you just shouldn't do.

Poor writing is a kind of fog that stands between the reader and the author, making it difficult to understand what the author is saying. Editors help to blow foggy, awkward passages out of the way, clarify ambiguous sentences, and smooth out the rough spots.

Preserving Individuality

Writing is a difficult task. The beginning of mastery is to hone your craft, remove errors and ambiguities, add clarity, and use well-written devices. However, as important as all these tasks are, they only represent the beginning of a journey. The purpose of writing is to communicate. At it's best writing forms a connection between two people and becomes a meaningful conversation (or monologue) between the reader and the author. For that to really work, 90% of all examples you've ever been presented in writing books need to be thrown out. Great writing is not generic. Great writing does not all sound the same. If you can read an article clearly and understandably but it's sterile, then there are still important benchmarks that the article doesn't meet. You should be able to hear the author's voice. You should have a sense of their personality.

Think of it this way. Who wants to read the same voice on the thousands (and one day millions) of articles. :P Yuck. I sure don't. This may extend to encouraging your authors to include personal anecdotes... provided they clarify and make a topic more comprehensible. This may extend to encouraging authors to include personal vocabulary, slang, and other non-traditional writing techniques... again, provided they clarify and make a topic more comprehensible. On some pages, including some of his best pages, half the words that Dr. Seuss wrote aren't in any dictionary you'll Ever find. But it would be a tragedy to touch a single one of them. The difference between a great editor and an average editor is sometimes just the ability to achieve the same readability with a lighter touch. Now, there are times when you can help bring out an author's voice in the editing process, and I encourage you to help authors do this. But when in doubt, try to achieve the same high standards of clarity and readability while "editing" as little as possible.

So are you interested in being one of our creative and critically-important editors? Contact us and we'll help you get started.

Non-Textual Content

Articles are written text that's highly accessible, and we put a lot of love and care into it. However, it's only one format that we provide at Earth Chronicle, and we need high quality editors to get all these materials ready for publication as well. Are you a GIMP / Photoshop ninja who can do things with images that make ordinary mortals stand in awe? Can you remaster audio files until they gleam in crystal clear sound quality? Are you a video guru who can edit files into looking their best before we publish them to the web? We're looking for you!

If you're interested in being one of our creative and talented media editors, contact us and we'll help you get started.