Journalists Versus Sub-Editors: It's War

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

First of all, Giles Coren unleashed the rage so many journalists have felt when subs thoughtlessly butcher their copy. The subs then struck back with a slightly whiny complaint about his rude language.

And where am I tracking this? Daring Fireball, an Apple-focused blog. The secret is out. The public know. Our secret war is a secret no more.

Even in our own little corner of the blogosphere, where we new media
hacks cluster over a warm API to warm ourselves against the howling
winds of the journalist curmudgeons, the issue is bubbling to the
surface. Joanna asks a perfectly straightforward question: why shouldn’t reporters write their own headlines?

hit this one a decade ago when I moved from a magazine with a tiny
staff (me and the editor, in fact) to one with a whole team of subs.
And discovered that the headlines I’d spent hours agonising over, as
I’d been trained to do at my last job, were being deleted unread by the
subs. Because, y’know, headlines are *their *job.

The cold war is heating up.


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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.