Suicide and the Press Complaints Commission (or why the web needs subs #3)

A quick thought about this adjudication:

Press Complaints Commission >> News.

The common thread seems to be that the online version of the story was unsubbed, unrefined PA copy.

Now there *may* be an argument that it was an automated feed, although I think it’s unlikely.

But no editor would let untouched copy in their paper, so why do it online? I’ve said it elsewhere on this blog; just because you can put it all up doesn’t mean you should.

In lots of the cases in this adjudication, the original version didn’t make the paper. The offending detail was removed, by subs who know the rules.

Standards, codes, ethics, quality; these rules still apply. Hell, there are enough old-school hacks who say these are the things that set us apart from ‘bloggers in pyjamas’, so why aren’t they adhered to online?

It’s the point that inspired me to start this blog in the first place, back in the days when I was full-time subbing. The web DOES need subs.

Whatever you call them, whatever else they do,  the checking/editing/rewriting/makingbetter person is a vital part of news production.

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3 thoughts on “Suicide and the Press Complaints Commission (or why the web needs subs #3)

  1. […] of what I’ve been marking is stuff online so I was interested in a post from Sam Shepherd commenting on why subs are still vital(maybe more so) on the web in light of Press complaints commission ruling on the coverage of a mans suicide.“Standards, […]

  2. […] was more perturbed by the fact that nine of the 12 perpetrators were online publications, as she wrote in a blog post: “In lots of the cases in this adjudication, the original version didn’t make the paper. […]

  3. A point well made in this continuing debate, although I think it needn’t just be a case of defending the subbing function, but of arguing for a more progresive vision of production journalism. I’ve just published something at http://www.inpublishing.co.uk/kb/results.aspx?media=0&subject=0&author=213 which goes into the argument in more detail, and I’d be interested in feedback. Especially as I am due to debate all this with Roy Greenslade and the MD of PA on 12 Feb at Publishing Expo.

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