Demystifying Journalist Job Titles: What they mean

Home PR Insights Demystifying Journalist Job Titles: What they mean

Table of Content

Table of Contents

A glossary of journalist job titles for PR pros

Brush up on what journalist job titles mean with our journalist job title glossary, and never send your pitch to the wrong person ever again.

Assistant Editor

Third in command on an editorial desk/for a publication. Responsibilities will include editing, writing and commissioning.

Associate Editor

Senior editor, who will commission, write and edit. Often used for journalists who aren’t full time, or who are equal in seniority to the Assistant/Deputy Editor where those titles are taken.


A columnist writes a regular article each week/month. The columnist will choose their own subject, often relating to something that’s happened in the news recently.

Contributing Editor

A journalist who contributes content to a publication but is not on staff. Contributing editors are often specialists in their field, or celebrities / influencers.

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Commissioning Editor

Another senior journalist either on a specific desk or part of the senior editorial team. They will be responsible for lots of commissioning, but also usually edit and write, too.

Desk Director

Has the same responsibilities as a desk editor, but is more senior, and usually has a greater role in commercial relationships with advertisers.

Desk Editor

A desk editor holds the same responsibilities as the editor (see below) but for their specific department – travel, culture, health, money, business etc. They will be more hands on with commissioning and assigning writers to pieces. They will also revise all articles for content, language, flow, style and furniture, and sign off the design for all pages.


The boss of the publication. The editor makes the ultimate call on what content goes in the publication and sets the editorial

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