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Guardian.co.uk: Subbing own Guardian blog is not the norm, says Janine Gibson

It would seem that Roy Greenslade is in a ‘small handful of journalists’ who blog straight-to-screen at the Guardian. Today in the Guardian, Siobhain Butterworth’s weekly column looks at the media regulation debate following the publication of the Media Standards Trust report.

This part, near the end of the article, is particularly interesting, given Roy Greenslade’s comments last week:

“The trust reports that many newspapers are giving journalists responsibility for their own editing and that this is increasing the risk of inaccuracies. Janine Gibson, editor of the Guardian’s website, says this is not true of the Guardian: “The majority of our blogs are edited and subbed before publication. I can only think of a small handful of journalists who blog direct to the web without being either desked or subbed first. We don’t publish news stories undesked and although our journalists can publish pictures direct to blogs, they rarely do.”” Open door, Guardian.co.uk 16/02/09

According to Press Gazette’s report from last week’s Publishing Expo, Roy Greenslade said that he subs his own blog:

“I write my blog every day, I don’t need a sub to get in the way,” said the former Daily Mirror editor turned Guardian blogger.

“I produce copy that goes straight on screen – why can’t anyone else do that? You can eliminate a whole structure.

“It’s not perfect, not how I would want it to be – but the thing is, commercially, we have to do it.” PressGazette.co.uk, 13/02/09

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  • Yup, we do let a few bloggers publish direct to the web – mostly in the media and technology team and they are revised and legalled. We might let a few more – as I said in Siobhain’s piece, I don’t think that even in a world of infinite resource you’d want to stamp out blogging direct to the web.

    But it doesn’t work for everyone or every type of blog, so we have a range of approaches. The vast majority of web publication gets subbed/revised/furniture subbed etc etc. Some (such as live blogging) are more like broadcast commentary where you trust journalist’s expertise and experience to steer them away from too much trouble.

    Personally I think this debate is valid and worth having – in lots of places I don’t think it’s even being considered. But to me there are good reasons to build subs into the digital world order, not strip them out.
    Linking, presenting, SEO and helping readers navigate content seem to me natural sub-editors’ responsibilities and don’t seem to have got any less important or needed. I’d like to see subs seize the opportunity to redefine the role rather than defend the right to sub the small words of every blog post.

    And we revise as we go along.

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