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Economist cartoonist animates style guide

April 18th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Funny

Economist cartoonist Kal has animated excerpts from the news outlets “punctilious in-house style guide”.

It features wracked sheep, racked (and wracked) brains and Dr Frankenstein and his monster.

It was posted on YouTube a month ago but it is worth a watch if you have not yet seen it.

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#Tip of the day from Journalism.co.uk – writing better headlines

August 2nd, 2011 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Top tips for journalists

Over on Poynter, deputy editor of StarTribune.com Matt Thompson runs through a series of questions to ask when producing the headline for a story, from the seemingly obvious but still overlooked “is it accurate” and “does it work out of context”, to whether it would benefit from the inclusion of a number or an “implication”.

See his full list here.

Tipster: Rachel McAthy

If you have a tip you would like to submit to us at Journalism.co.uk email us using this link – we will pay a fiver for the best ones published.

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The Australian: News Limited to create centralised sub-editing hub for Australian titles

October 1st, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Newspapers

Plans for a new sub-editing hub for News Limited’s titles in Australia, part of News Corporation, have been announced. More than 100 sub-editors and designers will move to the centralised production operation.

Full story on the Australian at this link…

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Headline mishaps at Johnston Press and Newsquest titles

September 14th, 2010 | 4 Comments | Posted by in Design and graphics, Local media, Newspapers

There’s been headline embarrassment in the past week both for Johnston Press and Newsquest. This headline filler was spotted by Jon Slattery in the Glasgow Evening Times on Friday.


Commenting on Slattery’s post Ol Peculier offers a link to another similar headline mess-up over at JP’s the Scarborough Evening News, posted on Facebook.

The use of the Atex production system at JP has been blamed for similar problems which have occured at titles since integration of the new system, such as cropped, misaligned or even missing pictures and other headline gaffs.

Earlier this year the NUJ wrote to the Press Complaints Commission claiming that a memo from Johnston Press management showed the new Atex rules “removed a number of checks for accuracy and seriously undermined the role of the editor, removing their final responsibility for the content of the paper”.

Update: We originally incorrectly linked the Glasgow Evening Times to Johnston Press, it has now been corrected as a Newsquest title.

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NYT: Fact-checking in the online age

August 23rd, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Journalism

Great first-person piece from the New York Times’ Virginia Heffernan on the process of fact-checking at newspapers past and present:

In short, fact-checking has assumed radically new forms in the past 15 years. Only fact-checkers from legacy media probably miss the quaint old procedures. But if the web has changed what qualifies as fact-checking, has it also changed what qualifies as a fact? I suspect that facts on the web are now more rhetorical devices than identifiable objects. But I can’t verify that.

Full article on the New York Times at this link…

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Subs’ Standards: A sub-editor’s defence of Wanky Balls

August 11th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Journalism

Following yesterday’s post on the perils of wikipedia as source material, Fiona Cullinan takes a look at sub-editing errors from a sub’s perspective and takes issue with those who simply brand it “lazy journalism”.

There’s such a thing as “lazy commenting” too, she says, and plenty of reasons other than laziness that can cause such errors, funny as they may be.

Full post on Subs’ Standards at this link…

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If there was an Olympics for headline writing…

July 9th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Journalism

This has been doing the rounds a bit in the last couple of days and we certainly aren’t too grown up to join in. The headline speaks for itself, suffice to say the subs at Reuters had a good laugh. The original article about Walter Dix’s victory at the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League meeting on Saturday is at this link.


This isn’t the first time US athlete Gay has made it onto the Journalism.co.uk Editors Blog, his surname and a Christian news site stirred up a little humour in 2008…

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Nieman Journalism Lab: ‘The Newsonomics of copyediting value’

May 14th, 2010 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Editors' pick

Nieman Journalism Lab looks at the changing role and value of the copy editor and sub-editor as so-called “content factories” like Demand Media and Associated Content expand to meet demands for “newsy” rather than “news” content online:

(…) that newsy, but more evergreen content on everything from going green to health to potty training to TV buying is building a great annuity for the company; it’s long tail monetisable for a long time.

(…) This wide disparity in editing editorial content isn’t wildly surprising; the disparity has grown markedly over the last decade, and certainly the blogosphere making each one of us our own editors has taught us new, uneasy conventions. We’ve gained a lot in the free and easy flow on web-enabled writing and publishing. We’ve clearly lost something too, as finding (and paying for) an intelligent second set of eyes has become a luxury.

That’s left me wondering exactly what value is in good editing. Are there any Newsonomics of editing, value to be gained and harvested?

Full story at this link…

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Sun runs explosive advert with Moscow terrorist bombings story

March 29th, 2010 | 2 Comments | Posted by in Advertising, Online Journalism

This morning I was leafing through an old guide to subbing from 1968. There were a couple of pages in it stressing the importance of ensuring articles do not clash with adjacent adverts. Weight loss advert next to an anorexia story, cigarette advert next to a lung cancer report, that kind of thing.

Well, it seems that, 40 years on, not everyone is paying attention to their text books. Or their website. Not satisfied with putting images of a plane emerging from a ball of fire adjacent to a story about today’s terrorist bomb attack in Moscow, the Sun’s website made use of some nifty graphics to have plane and fireball emerge from the story itself, leaving behind a charred hole.

Although my book has an additional chapter on new forms of ‘electronic sub-editing’, it doesn’t cover this kind of thing in any detail. I checked. It is however called ‘The Simple Subs Book’, so it may, after all this time, still be ideally suited to some.

h/t currybetdotnet

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Jon Slattery: Things you should never say to a sub-editor when on work experience

October 9th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Journalism

A brilliant aside from Jon Slattery referring to yesterday’s story about the Guardian printing an apology to its own sub-editors.

The story reminded Slattery of a remark made by someone on work experience on the magazine he used to work for:

“Workie to chief sub: ‘Would you like to be a journalist one day?’”

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