What’s The Difference Between A Contributor, An Editor, And A Reporter?


A contributor in journalism is not a full-time employee, and produces content for an outlet on occasion. They are usually paid on a project-by-project basis, hence the title “contributor”.


A reporter, on the other hand, is a full-time employee for a media outlet that provides the public with various news for a specific area (i.e. sports, business, politics). Their job is to remain objective while delivering public information because their account of a situation or story will be that of the reader’s. Reporters gather their content under strict deadlines through primary sources, such as interviews, news conferences, and attendance at events.


Editors can serve many different functions in a media outlet, and are usually people who have seniority within the publication. While they can produce pieces for their outlet, a large part of their job is reviewing stories written by reporters. Editors check for grammatical errors, accuracy, and overall cohesiveness. They can also assign stories to reporters, decide what stories get published, determine where stories are placed within the publication, write headlines, and choose photos. Larger media outlets have multiple editors for different sections such as music, sports, politics, etc.