Press Sub-editor

Press Sub-editor Job Description

Press Sub-editors, Or Subs, Check The Written Text Of Newspapers, Magazines Or Websites Before It Is Published. They Are Responsible For Ensuring The Correct Grammar, Spelling, House Style And Tone Of The Published Work.

Subs Make Sure That The Copy Is Factually Correct And That It Suits The Target Market. They Also Lay Out The Story On The Page, Write Headings And May Be Involved With Overall Page Design.

Like Other Journalism Roles, Sub-editing Is Demanding And Requires Constant Attention To Detail Within A Fast-paced Working Environment. Subs Work On National And Local Newspapers, Magazines And Online Publications.

Press Sub-editor Duties/Functions/Responsibilities

  • writing headlines that capture the essence of the story or are clever or amusing;
  • writing standfirsts or 'sells' (brief introductions which sum up the story, underneath the headline);
  • liaising with reporters or journalists, and editors;
  • checking facts and stories to ensure they are accurate, adhere to copyright laws, are not libellous or go against the publication's policy;
  • ensuring that a story fits a particular word count by cutting or expanding material as necessary;
  • manipulating on-screen copy using appropriate desktop publishing software, such as Quark Express, InDesign and Photoshop;
  • proofreading complete pages produced by other sub-editors using the main basic proofing symbols;
  • working to a page plan to ensure that the right stories appear in the correct place on each page;
  • laying out pages and, depending on the nature of the role, playing a part in page design;
  • cropping photos and deciding where to use them for best effect, and writing picture captions;
  • editing copy, written by reporters or features writers, to remove spelling mistakes and grammatical errors;
  • rewriting material so that it flows or reads better and adheres to the house style of a particular publication;
  • keeping up to date with sector issues, e.g. by reading related publications;
  • adapting all these skills for a publication's website.

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