Do editors outsource their duties?

An acquaintance in publishing, but not in New York, writes in to disagree in part with the Publishers Lunch skewering (excerpted here, fifth item) of a New York Observer article that claims many New York editors outsource significant chunks of their editorial duties. Acquaintance says:

[A prominent media company with some interests in publishing] outsources all of its editing, and an editor I know who worked [one of the big five] for 15 years, and another respected publisher before that, makes a ton of money doing freelance editing for a lot of “big” publishers. (I’m not referring to copyediting.)

He agrees that editing is not done in-house nearly to the extent that it was, and that more and more work is being outsourced because it’s cheaper and faster. Most of his editor friends make very good money doing freelance work, which is never hard to get. And a friend of mine seconds his thoughts.

Clearly, I can’t base the state of NYC editing (or the lack of it) on the aforementioned, but I also can’t agree with PM that the NY Observer is missing the boat entirely.

Other responses are welcome. Anonymity will be preserved.


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