A REPORTER gathers facts and information on an event of public interest and then presents them in a readable style to inform the reader. The reporter is supposed to provide objective observation about events that editors deem newsworthy. Reporters are often assigned to "beats," or particular areas, such as business, politics, energy, or education.
Sometimes reporters don't write the stories they cover. For example, a reporter at the scene of a story occasionally must dictate the material by telephone to another reporter who writes it in the newsroom to meet the deadline for the next day's issue.
An EDITOR serves many functions. While specific responsibilities may differ according to title or newspaper, an editor may do one or more of the following: assign reporters, decide which news events to cover, edit (revise)reporters' stories, decide what stories get published, determine where each story will be placed in the paper, write headlines, and select photographs for the paper. At larger papers, each section (e.g., Business, Sports) has one or more editors responsible for the content of that section.
A COLUMNIST gives opinions, usually his or her own. A columnist is expected to gather accurate information, just as a reporter does, and then comment on that information. A columnist has more latitude and license than a reporter and is not constrained by the rule of impartiality that governs news writing. While they are subject to the editing and approval of one or more editors, columnists can write just about what they please, as long as it remains within the boundaries of good taste and public acceptability, as defined by the paper.
A political (or editorial) cartoonist also gives opinions, but rather than do it with words, he or she does it with cartoons.
For a current list of Boston Globe Newsroom staff please visit: