Testy Copy Editors

The international war on journalism jobs.
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Author:  paulwiggins [ Thu May 12, 2011 7:21 am ]
Post subject:  The international war on journalism jobs.

It's a sad day here in Australia for the craft of editing. The appreciation and concern of people not in the business is appreciated.

Author:  Rio [ Thu May 12, 2011 11:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The international war on journalism jobs.

What are you talking about?

Author:  paulwiggins [ Fri May 13, 2011 11:15 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The international war on journalism jobs.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/busines ... 6054570632

Author:  Manth [ Sun May 15, 2011 7:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The international war on journalism jobs.

The Hywood email that had been heavily subbed was fun, but the impact on Australian newsrooms is not. I believe the end of the Fairfax print news is nigh. In my own job, I download files from Pagemasters four or five times a week. They often contain errors or have been uploaded in the wrong file format. I noted recently that Pagemasters changed its home page and brags about how its new site reflects the quality of its work. Well, if that is so, then the quality sucks. The new site is riddled with errors and bugs. It also randomly logs you off, even in the middle of a download.
Pagemasters is well-known for offering only "entry-level" jobs. How entry-level sub-editors can put out a quality newspaper is a mystery... I believe a good sub-editor needs to have a few years, at least, of reporting experience before taking on the position. We also need to take defamation and contempt law courses regularly. It's not all about spelling, grammar and fact-checking. Entry-level subs usually have none of that experience. I once worked at a newspaper that hired a secretary and a plumber as sub-editors after most of the subs desk (including me) left the paper within a six-week period. It was a regional newspaper with a very good reputation until then. Subs from that newspaper could pretty much walk into any other newsroom in the country and get a job because it was considered to be a first-class training ground. After the professionals left during that six-week period the quality plummeted. News-gathering skills and legal knowledge are just as important as spelling and grammar. My memories are, of course, based on the "olden days" when sub-editors were considered to be higher-level employees than reporters. These days everyone gets a byline for any piece of drivel, even if it's only a few pars... used to be that the subs would decide if you'd earned it.
Pagemasters claims it will offer jobs to the newly redundant Fairfax subs, but I would be willing to bet they'll be asked to take a very hefty pay cut.
Pagemasters employees do not work nights, weekends or public holidays (at least not those in the sections I deal with). Sometimes its employees forget to upload some of my files before they go home (but I usually discover this while they still have a "late stop" on and can get what I need; late stop means the person is on until 7 or 8pm). How are they going to deal with breaking news?

Edit: I discovered today that late stop works until 5pm on Sundays.

Author:  paulwiggins [ Tue May 17, 2011 9:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The international war on journalism jobs.

An invitation: It's an interesting post. Are you in a position where you can talk to others and put a name to views. (Blessing Mr Blanchard's wisdom that he alone knows private details of people and probably does not keep undue note.)

Author:  Manth [ Thu May 19, 2011 10:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The international war on journalism jobs.

To others who may have been reading this:
Paul and I have been carrying on a private conversation since my post. I would be okay with posting personal details if I were about 7 years older and therefore eligible to access my superannuation funds (dunno what the Yanks call them; it's a retirement account). All I am going to say is that I have posted my personal opinion, which is very similar to the personal opinions of many of my workaday colleagues. We are watching the situation closely. I have a plan B already in place and have been working on it for about six months already. I saw this coming...
PS No apology for "dunno". It's a legitimate Aussie expression and it is also 1:40am here so I might be sleep-writing this and not know what the heck I am typing...

Author:  paulwiggins [ Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The international war on journalism jobs.

Americans, and I deliberately use the word in preference to Yanks, talk about 401k. Not sure of style on cap k or lower case k.

Author:  paulwiggins [ Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The international war on journalism jobs.

401(k). Forgot I carry AP stylebook on iPad.

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