I’ve gotta say my mind is somewhat blown about Fairfax ditching subeditors and photographers from their regional papers. Leaving aside the fact that professional news photographers are the heart of a newspaper, ffs … let’s just talk about the consequences of eliminating subs from the process.
Look, journos care about three things, getting the news quickly (preferably first), writing it up so it makes basic sense, and making the deadline. Journos, in general, don’t give a good goddamn about grammar or spelling. We care about making a snappy intro, getting it all the right order, making the point, and moving it down the chain.
Sometimes, because we have to do it quickly, we might type 2 instead of 3, or him instead of her, or god knows, then instead of than. Especially if we’re filing from a poxy mobile device.
Subs have saved my arse than I care to remember. Literally, saved my arse. Spelling, tenses, bloody apostrophes, and yes, FACTS. They check facts. Who knew? They don’t just take the journo’s word for it, though we usually wish they would. THEY CHECK SHIT TO MAKE SURE IT’S RIGHT.
But that’s not the only consequence of sacking all the subs. Subs are usually the older, more experienced, relatively wise heads in the newsroom. Lose the subs and the collective age of a newsroom drops about 20-30 years. Not to mention the IQ.
This is a STUPID decision for any company that cares about the quality of its product. It’s a great decision if you want to save money, of course and that’s basically all that matters today if you climb any higher up a news publisher’s ladder than editor.
Dumb, stupid, fucked-up decision.