No industry is immune to market forces, and thanks to electronic publishing, blogging and soforth, the newspaper industry is possibly more prone to change than most. This is why, according to the UK’s Press Gazette, the Daily and Sunday Telegraph are going to outsource their sub-editing jobs.
This is significant to journalists not because of the 20 jobs at risk, which frankly are likely to be replaced by more employment at the Press Association which is now going to do the subbing, but because the subs are so integral to a publication. They not only catch errors and check everything for sense and grammar, but they police the house style. This isn’t often noticed by readers (or shouldn’t be) but consistency in style is vital if a magazine or newspaper is going to look professional and consistent.
It’s actually a fundamental part of the publication and sending it out of house can seem odd. It’s no surprise that the Press Gazette’s report suggests there was outrage at the announcement. The irony is that so many journalists leap at the chance of going freelance and immediately start competing for space with their staff colleagues.