On their way: trainee subs Ben Winstanley, Jennie Agg, Anna Croall
(back row) Dawn Wheatley, Fiona Roberts and Alex Richman (front). Picture by Andy Drinkwater
We said goodbye to the six trainee subs from the Daily Mail today. After four weeks' training in Howden and three days in London, they now head off for placements at the Press Association, The Evening Standard, The Irish News, Stoke Sentinel, Hull Daily Mail and News and Star in Carlisle. All being well, they will end up on the Mail subs desk next year. It has been an enjoyable few weeks. The trainees, all very talented, have been learning the craft of sub-editing to national newspaper standard. Pronouns, apostrophes, stylebooks, structure, accuracy, intros, captions, tight-editing, news values, headlines, layout, picture manipulation and cropping, graphics, InDesign, Photoshop and much more have been on the agenda. It is the eighth consecutive year that the Mail has recruited and trained its own subs in this way. The Sun has also run similar courses. It clearly works. So while the rest of the industry is jettisoning sub-editors in the name of economy and efficiency, the daily papers that sell the most continue to invest in them. Coincidence? I don't think so.