The difference between editing for an NGO and a magazine

Published On 21/04/2022
Author Admin
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As an editor, I have worked in diverse areas. Written language - whether it is in an NGO or an academic institute or a commercial magazine - is very different.

NGOs need good publications to inform the public (both locally and abroad) about the work they have done. Working on brochures, newsletters, manuals, websites, etc., is therefore a continuous process. Here the editor needs to understand the work that they do, so that they can relate to the subject matter of the documents they are editing. As most of the field workers are generally local people, reports and other documents are usually a rough draft. A lot of rewriting, content editing, proof-reading and structural editing is required. Many a time, I have to talk to the contact person at the NGO to understand the subject matter and fill in missing links, if any, especially for project reports. As an editor, I am required to improve the quality of the written matter so that it is easily understood. Clarity is the key. Often it requires working with the graphic designer or publisher as well.

The written language of magazine articles is more contemporary and colloquial and though it appears very easy to read, editing the matter requires time. Sometimes, to check the authenticity of the information, we editors are required to do some basic research as well. I have found that simple sentences that are cohesive help tremendously in retaining readers’ attention here.

In both cases, an editor’s role is to bring clarity to the subject.