richsport.co.uk

Re-assessing the role of the sub

without comments

Tired eyes today

The last few days working for BBC Sport Interactive have given me a new per­spec­tive on, and respect for, the role of sub-editor. For ten years ‘subs’ have been the unseen hands who’ve been there, as far as I was concerned, solely to keep me out of trouble, for example by cor­rect­ing a misspelt name. Those who took it upon them­selves to change copy, almost always — again, as far as I was concerned — did so wholly without jus­ti­fi­ca­tion.
Well, today I ‘subbed’ something like 15 stories written by BBC jour­nal­ists, largely from local radio stations but some dedicated on-line jour­nal­ists. Some were fine, most needed tinkering with, and several needed com­pletely rewriting to make any sense at all. That’s before you start making sure the headlines, pictures, and all the other ‘furniture’ that should make up a BBC web page are in place. These days, of course, that includes embedding audio and video.
By the end of the day I was knackered, not to mention boss-eyed.
I would like to think, of course, that I don’t put the poor indi­vid­u­als who sub my copy through that sort of mill. Of the news­pa­pers I work for, the Sunday Times is probably the best in terms of leaving copy alone. The Indy is pretty good too, although that’s possibly because they’re so over-worked they don’t have time to change anything. The Guardian is probably the worst for unnec­es­sary fiddling.
Anyway, I’ll try and remember to print off a few examples over the next few days of the worst sort of copy that arrives on the screens at the BBC’s Birmingham ‘HUB’, as it is known.

SociBook del.icio.us Digg Facebook Google Yahoo Buzz StumbleUpon

Written by RichardRae

March 17th, 2010 at 11:00 pm

Posted in Sport

Tagged with , , ,

Leave a Reply