My Job In 5: Saphia Crowther, Editor, Amnesty International

My Job In 5: Saphia Crowther, Editor, Amnesty International

Describe your role.
I commission, edit and publish reports and books on a range of human rights issues.

What do you like best about your role?
I enjoy learning from Amnesty’s researchers and campaigners, who travel the world investigating human rights violations. I help them shape their research into publications that shine a light on grave abuses of people’s rights. Knowing that these reports make a real difference to people’s lives is hugely motivating.

Which new projects are you working on at the moment?
We recently published the second edition of Amnesty International’s Fair Trial Manual, which provides practical advice for lawyers, judges and trial observers. Currently, Amnesty’s major campaigns are focused on stopping torture and ensuring sexual and reproductive rights for all. I will be editing a number of reports on these issues in the coming months, covering various countries.

Explain the focus of publishing in non-government organisations.
For us, changing policy and educating people about an issue is generally more important than sales. We decide what to publish based on solid research and achieving maximum impact, rather than the number of copies we can shift. In fact, most of our publications are available for free as PDFs, as well as being available to buy in hard copy, to help ensure wide dissemination.

What advice would you give to someone looking to work in the industry?
Volunteer in the area that interests you. Most major charities have publishing roles but having some knowledge of relevant issues will make you stand out, whether it’s children’s rights, the environment or humanitarian issues. Pick an area that you have a passion for — it makes each day exciting and rewarding.