'The most miserable, put-upon job in media'

Yesterday my line manager forwarded me on a link to a Guardian Unlimited blog post by Roy Greenslade regarding the future of subs ('copy editors', for those Americans out there). In it, Greenslade says: "I can see that they will be the first journalistic victims of the digital revolution."

Although I was a little disturbed that my line manager sent this on to me – is he trying to tell me something? – I was also amused by the comments that the blog post had attracted, many of them written by reporters or subs. Among my favourites:

The reason people become reporters is because they want to find out things and see their byline on important stories. This rarely goes in hand-in-hand with being an enormous pedant who loves words, has a dirty mind and suspects that everyone else constantly makes mistakes, which is what makes a great sub.


Subs, if you want to persist in the most miserable, put-upon, unappreciated and least perks-laden job in media, start coming up with ideas. You are the most talented members of staff, you must be able to do it. Tell the writers how they can improve, in a nice mentoring way, preferably in front of someone important. Make suggestions about improving the system and let the boss think it was their idea. Above all else, write stuff. They will find it much harder to get rid of you.

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