Editorial Roles and Practices
This chapter provides an overview of existing research that considers what magazine editors do, how editing has changed over time and why such a form of textual mediation—or its absence—might matter. A historical approach provides an essential insight into how editing roles have changed over time, how magazine editing developed its own distinctive characteristics and how those qualities influenced other cultural forms. The historiography itself illustrates the shift in focus from the substantive content of magazines—and the way the content is consumed by the public—to the social and cultural processes of production. Around the turn of the twentieth century, gentility was also challenged in the United States by the new breed of modernist journals and little magazines. The distinctiveness of the magazine form continues to be influential in new, digital contexts, a precursor to social media in the way that it collates diverse material and encourages a conversation within a defined community—a literal form of linking.