Editorial Roles and Practices

Exploring the Creative Enterprise

Authored by: Susan Greenberg

The Routledge Handbook of Magazine Research

Print publication date:  June  2015
Online publication date:  June  2015

Print ISBN: 9781138854161
eBook ISBN: 9781315722283
Adobe ISBN: 9781317524533

10.4324/9781315722283.ch10

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Abstract

The individuals engaged in day-to-day acts of editing are often invisible to those outside the editorial process. Apart from a handful of stars, practitioners lack a public profile and there are no prizes for their work. This is partly because periodical editing is inherently collaborative. There is also a sense in which an awareness of process—what goes on behind the scenes—disrupts what Walter Benjamin called the “aura” of cultural artifacts. 1 However, editing is a very important part of what makes the magazine form distinctive. The orchestration carried out by editors, whatever their job title, is what provides the aesthetic unity needed to create a successful collective identity. 2 This aspect alone makes an understanding of the magazine vital to any broader, generic analysis of editing practice. Practices that evolved in a magazine setting have also been influential in other areas of publishing. This includes book editing and contemporary digital “curation,” a term used since the late 1990s to describe the mediation of digital content. 3

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