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Professions in series and in real life: Editor

After an internship in the local editorial office of a regional daily newspaper, it was clear to Ann-Kristin Schmittgall (29) that she wanted to become an editor. She put her studies in media and law on hold and began a traineeship. For abi »she reports on her daily work and explains why editors in series often have a negative image.

A thorough and precise research of information is very important for editors, because this is the only way to gain the trust of the readership.

Photo: Martin Rehm

I am one of those people who wrote long essays in elementary school. In high school I worked on the school newspaper. So my passion for writing became apparent early on. At first I didn't have a precise idea of ​​the job of an editor, but when I got to know the job in practice, I immediately noticed that it was exactly the job I wanted to do.

Ann-Kristin Schmittgall

Photo: private

The nice thing about my work as an online editor for a regional media company is that I have to deal with a very varied mix of topics on my own doorstep. Whether at the city fair, in the city council, at school, at the court or at the waste disposal company in the district - there are people and stories everywhere that are worth reporting about. However, this is not a classic “9 to 5” job. Sometimes I don't really have an end to work. Unexpected events can happen at any time - on the weekend or late at night. Breaking news must be shown immediately to the readers on the homepage and via the social media channels. Exact and thorough research is of course very important for us editors, especially since trust in the media has suffered greatly in recent years.

An insight into reality

Unfortunately, the journalist profession does not have the best image. In series and on television they are often portrayed as brazen and immoral people who do everything to get spectacular stories. Truths are then often falsified or opinions are given one-sidedly. Of course, as much as possible should happen in series, characters should act and not linger. Directors therefore usually limit themselves to the exciting activities. Nobody wants to see editors spend hours reading into a topic, checking numerous sources or editing texts. In reality, these things are one of the main tasks.

Research is a good example, because in series the facts often just fall into the lap of the editors. In reality, this is much more tedious and it can take days or weeks to get certain information. In series, this was often done with just a single phone call.

What is reality, what is fiction?

I can think of a series of films on television that realistically portrays the research effort. "Deadly Secrets" in the first. Two investigative journalists who work for an online political magazine and mess with powerful people. The film series shows how difficult it can sometimes be to get secure information, and how journalists themselves are put on the cross by others. With the US series “Sex and the City”, on the other hand, the unrealistic is obvious: with a single column that appears in a newspaper once a week, nobody can afford such an extravagant lifestyle as the protagonist.

In my opinion, very different things work in American series than in German series. I once read: “In America they make art and sell it as a product. And in Germany they make a product and sell it as art. ”I think that describes it quite well. There is often a high artistic standard behind German series, but in the USA you have no problem making good mainstream.

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