Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

If all the unemployed sub-editors worked in the real world… #2

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

What life would be like if all the unemployed sub-editors worked in the real world…

Which is exactly what life should be like…

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

Modern media is rubbish #7: “We forgot to authenticate that single mum’s amnesia story last week”

A bit late, but here’s a few problems with that really great human interest amnesia story from last week: when 34-year-old Naomi Jacobs (or 35-year-old, depending which version you read) woke up in 2008 convinced she was 15. Naomi Jacobs, of Manchester, recalled nothing after 1992, did not know she had a son and thought […]

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

Mail Online embraces the grocer’s apostrophe* – well, its one of those Lindsay Lohan storie’s

More evidence of the shocking moral and ethical decline of the national tabloid press – now the Mail Online has let its standards slip and has embraced the grocer’s apostrophe*. Apparently, Lindsay Lohan had her sights set on the Black Swan role that did for Natalie Portman. The Mail expresses surprise that “Lohan still thinks […]

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

Modern linguistic madness #1: Coinstar counting machines

Evidence that modern life is rubbish, linguistically at least: spotted in the local Morrisons, a handy Coinstar coin exchange machine. Unlike most other commentators, I’m not taking issue with the ridiculous idea of paying a machine for the privilege of counting my money. But I believe we must stand up against the incoherence of its […]

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

Sky recycles four-year-old press release for latest Royal Wedding story

Sky seems to be desperate to run anything about the Royal Wedding at the moment – hence this slightly ungracious pop at the economics of the couple’s big day: Extra Bank Holiday to cost Britain billions. As many retailers benefit from a Royal Wedding consumer spending spree, it is claimed the extra bank holiday will cost […]

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

The Victorians set their subbing errors in stone

Anyone wanting to take us back to the solid Victorian values of the three “R”s in education should take pause. If you take a turn round the duck pond in Bath’s delightful Victoria Park, you’ll come across this handsome piece of Victorian sculpture – an urn commemorating the anniversary of the opening of the park […]

Friday, December 10th, 2010

Friday haiku challenge

Cathy Relf’s excellent Rantings of a Sub-Editor blog offers a tough challenge to journalists and sub-editors – to turn a piece of drivelling nonsense submitted by a car reviewer into elegant and accurate copy. Here’s the original: The car is fairly pedestrian-friendly as there aren’t any hard surfaces directly beneath the bonnet Her straight-down-the-line edit […]

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

How much did it cost to hire Anni Dewani’s killer?

The price of a murder in South Africa is 5,000 rand (“about £460”), according to early reports, including the BBC. Oh no, it’s 15,000 rand (“about £1,400”). Again, according to the BBC, which quickly updated its story. It’ll be interesting to see if the 5,000 rand figure spreads through the internet, as aggregation does its […]

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

When FOI requests are no substitute for real journalism

Here’s a great post on FleetStreetBlues about a Guardian story on the lack of ethnic minority representation at Oxford and Cambridge universities. Alongside the reported difficulty of black and minority ethnic students to gain admission to Oxford and Cambridge, the Guardian reported: “The FOI data also shows that of more than 1,500 academic and lab […]