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The death of the sub-editor (continued)

In between the collapsing financial institutions some other industries continue to decline. In my world, this means the mass-market print industry which is wresting with far-reaching technological change and the collapse of the advertising business model which has previously supported it. Collapsing industries always mean rising job losses. The following link is to a chart about changing patterns of employment in the US ‘content’ industries – and as we know, what starts in America tends to come here later. Hat tip.

In the UK, blogger Roy Greenslade has touched on the practical, human-sized implications of this in the newspaper industry in a piece calling the effective end of sub-editing. For those not-in-the-know, sub-editors are production journalists who turn and edit the original words from reporters and columnists, like Roy, into the finely honed prose you used to read in your newspapers.

Greenslade argues technological and economic change has made this work increasingly redundant and frankly, he has a point. No cash-conscious media owner is going to pay for something they can get cheaper or, for free because of technology or outsourced production processes. I know of what I speak, I used to work at Express newspapers. To adapt the words of someone not-so-long-ago you can’t buck the market , you can only delay it.

Martin Belam at Currybetdotnet makes this point more elegantly at his site.

I would very much like a sub-editor to correct my prose and to help me make what I make. If you would like to like to apply, please do, here. Of course, I can’t afford to pay you but I can offer personal brand advertising and repeated exposure to the public…

UPDATED: Sunday 15th Feb 20.00GMT. Adam Tinworth points in the direction of a slightly less apocalyptic vision for the future of production journalists at the blog of Karl Schneider

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