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An editor-at-large is a journalist who contributes content to a publication. Sometimes such an editor is called a roving reporter or roving editor.
Unlike an editor who works on a publication from day to day and is hands-on, an editor-at-large will contribute content on a regular or semi-regular basis and will have less of a say in matters such as layout, pictures or the publication’s direction.
However, unlike a writer, they are allowed their own preferences in the content they have to generate and don’t always have to pitch their ideas to the main editor. Though they are still subject to the direction and oversight of chief editors and executive editors, they frequently come up with ideas for other writers to research and write. "At large" means the editor has no specific assignments, but rather works on whatever interests them.
The term was coined by Glenn O'Brien in the 1970s while at High Times magazine. He was allegedly in the actual offices so little that other employees considered him "at large" – in reference to old Western Wanted posters.
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