(Parental advisory: this post contains very bad language, albeit nothing you wouldn’t find in certain outposts of Her Majesty’s Press)
Publicly, broadsheets are a bit sniffy about tabloids. Tabloids are a bit sniffy about broadsheets. But behind the scenes, there’s one thing all sub-editors agree on: accuracy and consistency. We need clear, informed style decisions, and the discipline to stick to them afterwards. It’s the same wherever you go.
Email from the production editor of the Tribune to all sub-editors, 17 June:
“For those asking why it’s ‘Isis’: the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isis) is a jihadist group active in Iraq and Syria. Isis was formed in April 2013 and grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq. It has since been disavowed by al-Qaida, but become one of the main jihadist groups fighting government forces in Syria and is making military gains in Iraq.
The final “S” in the acronym ISIS stems from the Arabic word “al-Sham”. This can mean the Levant, Syria or even Damascus but in the context of the global jihad it refers to the Levant.”
Email from the editor of the Sunday Sport to all sub-editors, 23 July:
“… to avoid any further confusion (and future disciplinaries) I have listed below the commonest bungles. Please print them off and stick them by your computer screen.
SHIT: Full out in copy and in headlines
FUCK: F**k in copy and in headlines
Hunt: C**t in copy and headlines
WANK: Full out in copy, w**k in headlines
TWAT: Full out in copy, tw*t in headlines
COCK: Full out in copy and in headlines
BOLLOCKS: Full out in copy and in headlines
BELLEND: One word, full out in copy and headlines
Can this please be the end of it? I hate to be formal but I’m getting sick of repeating the same things on a weekly basis.
Otherwise, keep up the good work.”
I bet freelances can hardly remember which publication they’re working on some days.