Subediting, news language and convention

Tynan, Liz (2011) Subediting, news language and convention. In: Bainbridge, Jason, Goc, Nicola, and Tynan, Liz, (eds.) Media and Journalism: new approaches to theory and practice. Oxford University Press, Melbourne, VIC, Australia, pp. 269-283.

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People new to media writing often bristle at the notion that they have to follow someone else's writing rules. A common argument is that rules stifle people's creativity through prescriptive and arbitrary pedantry imposed by people who have no life, and anyway grammar rules keep changing so why should we have to learn them? We don't speak the same way as William Shakespeare did. English evolves. Yes, it does evolve, and it is a wonderful process, and one that continually enriches our primary communication tool. But a language without rules, even transitory ones, is not a language at all, because it cannot be fully understood by all who use it. Rules are there to create meaning, and meaning is vital in all media professions. Also, high-quality media of all kinds value consistency, which boosts the overall quality of the product. Consistency helps to put the reader or the listener at ease as it removes irritation or confusion over trifles and leaves them free to consider the main point of what you have written. Many media settings require employees to adhere to a style, which helps ensure consistency. The subeditor is often the custodian of a publication's language and style, but all subs appreciate the reporters taking pains in this area as well, so they don't have to spend too much time making annoying small corrections.

Item ID: 23165
Item Type: Book Chapter (Teaching Material)
ISBN: 978-0-19-557410-4
Date Deposited: 05 Sep 2012 00:51
FoR Codes: 19 STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING > 1903 Journalism and Professional Writing > 190301 Journalism Studies @ 100%
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