A dearth of good, traditional sub-editors for national newspapers has prompted the Daily Mail to join forces with the Press Association in a special, fast-track training initiative, writes Jean Morgan.
The partnership is putting £150,000 into training six “super-subs” who start in July and will be trained to national newspaper standards within a year. Candidates should be university graduates or have recently completed a post-graduate journalism course but journalists already working on regionals or beginners with aptitude will also be considered.
They will start the course at PA’s centre in Howden, Yorkshire, then three will go to Associated Newspapers’ national newsrooms and Northcliffe Newspapers’ regional ones, swapping halfway with the other three who have remained at PA in Yorkshire and London.
The intensive course will cover story structure, headline and intro writing, newspaper style, typography, captions, picture selection, Adobe Photoshop, page design, computer skills, accuracy, essential law for journalists, sport and features subbing and subbing against the clock. Trainees will receive a salary and have their accommodation and travel paid for.
At the end of the course, the super-subs will start work on the Daily Mail’s back bench and the others will go to a Northcliffe newspaper or stay with PA.
John Bryant, consultant editor of the Daily Mail, said: “We believe that not enough highly talented people are going into sub-editing and newspaper production.
“A lot of bright people want to go on television or be foreign correspondents or write columns. We felt that existing teams didn’t offer the speciality of sub-editing.”