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Editors Talk about Editing

Insights for Readers, Writers and Publishers


Susan L. Greenberg

The work of «editing» is by and large something that happens behind the scenes, noticed only when it is done badly, or not done at all. There is not much information about what editors do. The result is that editing is not often talked about in its own right – not even by the people who do it. This collection of interviews attempts to fill some of the gaps. The author, a former editor herself, interviews practitioners at the top of their game – from newspapers, magazines, broadcast news, book publishing, scholarly editing, academic publishing and digital curation. The interviewees think out loud about creativity and human judgment; what they have in common and what makes them different; how editing skills and culture can be shared; why editing continues to fascinate; and why any of this might matter.
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Chapter 2: Adam Moss, New York magazine


← 32 | 33 → Chapter 2


Editor-in-chief, New York magazineInterview: Wednesday, November 14, 2012Manhattan, New York

Adam Moss is described by media critic David Carr as ‘one of the best editors working in a hybrid age’ (Carr 2010). Before joining New York in 2004, he edited The New York Times Magazine, and was assistant managing editor for features at the newspaper. Earlier he spent six years as editor of Esquire and was the founder of 7 Days, a magazine covering New York arts and culture.

New York has won many awards, most recently for ‘general excellence, print and digital’ given by the US-based National Magazine Awards in 2014. The previous year, it won Print Magazine of the Year and Cover of the Year, for a cover about Hurricane Sandy in November 2012 [Fig. 1. Storm]. The magazine has also significantly expanded its online and mobile presence.

Since the interview, the magazine announced that its print version was moving from weekly to biweekly frequency, explaining the aim of the change as ‘combining the timeliness of a weekly with the heft of a monthly’ (New York 2014).

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Figure 1. Storm

← 34 | 35 → SG What do you call what you do? Do you think of yourself as editor?

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