Telegraph subs alert!

This is the sort of thing that would never have happened in the old days!

When David became the 11th Earl in 1999,

Tsk, he became the 11 th Duke.

As is reported several paras up. And given that he was already a Marquis he could indeed then inherit an Earldom but we wouldn\’t actually say that he had.

Well, unless the Marquis was in the Irish peerage or something.

Which leads to a rather Hayekian point about the subbing of newspapers. Yes, sure, some of it is about spolling, grammar, flow of the story. These can indeed be done over the internet by people thousands of miles away (and thousands of £s cheaper). But there\’s also a great deal of local knowledge, even implicit knowledge if you like, necessary.

The above is trivial, certainly (and it might even be true that he inherited an Earldom along with the Dukedom, a fairly common thing to happen even if we wouldn\’t remark upon it) but there are times when it isn\’t. One I recall is the Queen meeting members of the Parliament of the Isle of Wight. That was the caption to a picture of the Isle of Man.

This isn\’t, BTW, a story about Australians doing this work for the Telegraph. It\’s still subcontracted out, yes, but the peeps are mainly in London now. It\’s more a story about how you want older people doing this work. Peeps who have two or three decades under their belt of this local sort of knowledge. But older peeps are more expensive… offs, trade offs.

This post dedicated to the memory of Tom Payton.

9 thoughts on “Telegraph subs alert!”

  1. Sir ,you just are here protecting the vested interest of your chums… india has long since overtaken the entire translation industry from domination by overpriced westerneres to become final destination of choice, and All technical writing is next on the list to outsource. then we do of course newspaper subbing i know being native english speaker we do writing of Utmost quality … Local Knowledge is the final excuse of colonialist arroganceby old-age westerners whom cannot compete with our price.

    [/irony – I’ve seen much much worse].

  2. Maybe they could hire some retirees to do the work; possibly ex-pats in another time zone who would appreciate a bit of extra cash. They needn’t cost much: the best candidates would most likely already be Telegraph readers and would enjoy the work.

  3. “It’s more a story about how you want older people doing this work. Peeps who have two or three decades under their belt of this local sort of knowledge. But older peeps are more expensive…..”
    But is that actually true? There must be an almost inexhaustible supply of old school journalists, an internet connection away & now in retirement, who’d welcome a few bob coming in for subbing. Come to think of it, there’s a couple I occasionally drink with who’re known to plead poverty. I’ll ask them.
    Could it more be, the print media, like most other areas these days, has become infested with university grads. Now, I’ve nothing particular against higher education but all a degree gives a c*nt is piece of papers says he’s qualified as a c*nt. And when qualified c*nts look for people to do stuff, they do tend to stick to the same sort of people as themselves. Hence they ignore the rule most people with practical experience have engraved on the inside of their foreheads. If you want to check something, don’t use the same method as you used to arrive at the original conclusion

  4. Does anyone care if some sub outsourced to Portugal gets some old bat’s title wrong? I know it may be a symptom that we’re going to the dogs, but so we actually care? Is that a price worth paying? After all, if the market is always right, maybe it rightly decides that Irish titles (whatever, I’ve forgotten already) are just not worth paying expensive old courtiers to get right?

    Tim adds: This particular blog post is a little (a little, not much) deeper than it appears.

    Tom Payton as mentioned was a bloke I knew who worked as a sub on the Telegraph. I knew him from a pub in Bath. The landlord of which is the Nick Luke who commented first on the post. John Price, the bloke who commented second, was a sub on the Telegraph who worked with Tom.

    So that’s three people who care about the post. For it would be an error to assume that posts on this blog were written for the interest solely of Luke M really….

  5. I think Tim’s point, and this is an ongoing topic, sub editing- is apart from entertainment, the press is supposed to educate & inform. If you can’t trust the paper to get things right, the last two ain’t happening. Now, what his quibble is here, I haven’t the vaguest. Can’t even be bothered to look. But that’s not the issue. I’m sure if I was being paid to write articles for a rag I’d be making sure my facts were right. And if I was being paid to sub, ditto. Maybe that’s because, with what I do or mostly did these days, I felt it was my duty to my bit of the public to get it right. If I hadn’t I’d have soon lost their trust, which I regarded as the biggest asset I had.
    “Does anyone care if some sub outsourced to Portugal gets some old bat’s title wrong?”
    Yes it does. Because if you can’t get the little things right, what confidence is there you get the big things right?

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