A sub-editor is vital to help produce a professional publication

I’ve noticed some real howlers in the daily press that shouldn’t have happened. Mostly I’ve just inwardly groaned. Today I’m giving vent to my disappointment at the seeming lowering of standards. Maybe I’m being harsh. Maybe it’s just that I’ve noticed some obvious howlers. Perhaps so. Luckily, I’ve captured a couple..

When they appear on the front page – even though it’s in online versions – of quality publications I begin to worry about the quality of, or lack of sub-editing. I worked for a Chief Accountant many years ago. He could spot a wrong number in an instant among a veritable pile of numbers. I expect sub-editors to be as good.

Here are a couple of absolute shockers. In the Daily Telegraph online of 24th January 2016 about political insults, and referencing Churchill’s contribution. Secondly on the font page of the March 2016 issue of History Today, in an article about the building of the Forth Bridge. see if you can spot the bloomers – I bet you can in an instant.

Daily Telegraph online 24Jan2016

History Today March 2016 issue

Of course Winston Churchill didn’t die in 1945. He died on 24th January 1965. You can see the simple typographical error – 24th Jan 1965, not 24th Jan 1945.

Similarly, with the History Today article about the reason for the design of the Forth Bridge was the Tay Bridge disaster of 1879, not 1897 which was after the construction of the Forth Bridge. Again a simple number transposition. Both are obvious errors that any sharp-eyed sub editor should have spotted.

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