Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Back to basics ...

Here are some basic training tips that, on the evidence of these recent examples, we clearly need to revisit.

1. Don't cut and paste from brochures. Good sub-editors should know how to read ... and to edit.

2. Have good taste and a dirty mind ... so that you keep the innuendo and double meanings out of the publication.

This rule also applies to the advertising department.

And it certainly applies to the relationship between pictures and words.

3. Libel by juxtaposition is very rare, I'm pleased to say. It usually just leads to giving people a laugh at your paper's expense. 

4. Always, always, always check your sources, something that AOL appeared to have forgotten here. The web is not a reliable source of facts ... go to original sites.  

5. Watch out for that old favourite of disaffected sub-editors ... the abuse of drop caps.

More to follow ...


  1. Really enjoyed the collection Peter. I'll be forwarding them on to my news staff.

    Robert Cullen
    Sligo Weekender

  2. Made my day, and of course, I'd never make these mistakes :-) OTOH, George Brownridge has every right to look happy!

  3. These are great, some made me laugh out loud. I remember a couple of years ago The Irish News printed a photo of UVF members in East Belfast posing with their guns and balaclavas in front of a mural in East Belfast. The thing was, some bored sub at some point had digitally replaced the original painting behind them with a pink, fluffy one of puppies and that was the image that ended up finding it's way into the paper. It was priceless. I was doing an intership at the PA at the time and when someone in our office rang over (at three in the afternoon) they hadn't even noticed yet!