Features Editor

Features editors are responsible for the features section of the newspaper. They supervise reporters; they assign stories, work with reporters on their coverage, suggest angles and leads, and do the initial editing of reporters' articles. They work with graphic artists and web designers on multimedia aspects of feature stories for the online and mobile version of the features section.

Basic Skills and Competencies

  • Abilty to meet deadlines
  • Ability to pitch stories and think outside of the box
  • Strong understanding of content and how to repurpose content
  • Understanding of what the public wants to hear

Amy Nelson is the Communications Manager for Northrop at the University of Minnesota. At the time of this interview, she was the features editor of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, as well as associate editor of the paper's Spaces magazine. In 2009, she became the paper's first social media editor, a position she created and pitched to her editor. Nelson has her BA from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and graduated in 2002 with her MA in mass communication from SJMC.

Video Index

  • Play entire video
  • Introduction
  • What was your path to get into this field?
  • How does a new person in this field get started/launch a career?
  • What do you find most challenging about your job?
  • What is most exciting about your job?


Courses to Help Prepare You (Within SJMC)

  • JOUR 3102: Multimedia Production and Storytelling
  • JOUR 3103: Interactive and Data Journalism
  • JOUR 3173W: Magazine & Feature Writing
  • JOUR 3155: Editing for Print and Digital Audiences
  • JOUR 4451: Advanced Multimedia Storytelling
  • JOUR 4992 Practicum courses at the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press
  • JOUR 5131: In-Depth Reporting
  • JOUR 5174: Magazine Editing and Production
  • Topic-specific courses such as: JOUR 4171: Covering the Arts

Courses to Help Prepare You (Outside SJMC)

  • COMM 1101: Introduction to Public Speaking
  • COMM 3422: Interviewing and Communication
  • Courses in persuasion
  • Courses in a specific subject area such as business, history, politics, economics, the arts

Student Groups

  • Society of Professional Journalists

Participate In

  • Practicum classes at Pioneer Press or Star Tribune
  • Murphy News Service
  • Minnesota Daily
  • The Wake


  • Intern at local newspapers
  • Look for internships in magazines

Your Career

Career Resources

Professional Organizations

Where Alumni Work

  • City Pages
  • Minnesota Monthly
  • Star Tribune

Return to Career Exploration page.