The job of a editor is to study clips and then decide which are the most effective and literally sticking them together. Before digital technology these would have been literally stuck in place with scissors, hence phrases like 'Cuts'
The editor's role is to convey specific meanings to the audience. They have to consider how certain footage can convey meaningful narrative for the audience, which generates the responses that they wish for. Editing is a massively effectively important part of the construction of a programme and it's meaning and its importance shouldn't be underestimated.
Creating character Identification through editing
We are normally encouraged to identify with a certain character in a narrative. Editing plays a major part in this. The majority of shots in a scene will be shown either of a certain character, or from their point of view. Shots of other characters will show them in relationship to the main character.
Editing and Time
Editing can speed up or slowdown time. Editing can cut out boring chunks of events that the audience don't need to see, skipping through time. It can slow down time through the use of long continuous shots or even the use of slow motion effects.
Each shot takes up a certain amount of time on the screen. If the shots are similar kinds of length we can say they have rhythm, as the action moves along or the story unfolds at a certain place. Shots which break this rhythm may attract out attention- a shot that lasts a long time can build tension, a very short shot can show us a detail which might pique out interest. Rapid shots can give the impression of fast, exciting action. A sequence of slower shots might create a romantic, introspective mood.