Get Yourself an Education
One of the unique things about journalism, especially magazine journalism, is that those who make a career of it need to have two passions: journalism, of course, and something else. There is very little room in the media landscape to make a living reporting on journalism itself, so the majority of us need to nurture something else as our specialty. We need our content.
This is why I am conflicted about the institution of J-school. I, myself, attend continuing education classes in magazine publishing at one of the few schools in Canada to offer such courses (Ryerson University in Toronto). I completed my bachelor of fine arts (at Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in Vancouver) before enrolling in the workingman's J-school, and think I'm better for it. And most of the more capable people whom I've met in the industry have a degree in something other than journalism (either in addition to, or instead of).
Not only do these double-degree holders foster an interest in and knowledge of a subject to specialize in, if they so choose, but they become more "well-rounded." Myself, although I'm not currently employed at an arts magazine, I learned a thing or two from art school that have helped me immensely in the magazine industry. (It's also made me a more desirable employee, i.e. I have an advantage when trying to get work.)
Unlike many editors (at least the ones I've worked with), I'm conscious of the effect writing can have on the design of a piece. (For example, for easy access for readers, the article should have more subheds and sidebars, perhaps a list or graph, i.e. entry points.) I can explain to a designer how the design affects the reading of a piece, potentially confusing readers and driving them to turn the page without finishing their read. And I can explain it without making the art director and designer think I'm trying to tell them how to do their jobs because I approach it from an editorial viewpoint.
Now, of course no teacher in art school sat the class down and said, "If you happen to get a job as an editor and have to tell a designer the layout makes the writing confusing to read, this is what you do." But I did learn how design affects the understanding of meaning. I also learned how to work with clients, think critically and deliver constructive criticism. None of which I've learned in any of my publishing classes.