Posts Tagged ‘sub-editor’

A case has been filed: Its a normal day

The Anna Nagar K4 police station has registered the case under Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC)….: The reporter has a word count and he’s falling short

A case has been filed. Further investigations are on: The sub-editor need a few more words for the story to align

Police are on the lookout: All constables in the station have been informed about it

Police have spread a dragnet: All city police stations have been faxed

Asst Police Comissioner ….has been deputed to handle the case: They’ve got orders from the top brass that this case is serious business

Police teams have been formed: A ruse to get the names of all the guys working on the case into the pages of a vernacular newspaper

The policeman was injured by the accused: They need something to accuse him with, so the policeman conveniently gets injured

Encounter: Police let the accused escape to shoot him down

sexually assualted: The police know its a rape, but they’d prefer to downplay it

The victim had many boyfriends: Its easier to close the case, if you can blame it on the girl

A mysterious death: We’d like to create a little hype, to get a little credit

The victim ‘claimed’: The reporter prefers the police version

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If you ever find these words in a newspaper it can only mean

Alleged: The safety net to all rumours and scandals, if they turn out to be false

Breaking news: It’s on the news wires

Flash news: It’s sensational, but we have only a vague idea of what’s going on

News snippets: Its important, but space constraints. Or its important, but that’s all the news agencies have wired

Controversial: Mr X was caught red-handed on TV

Scandal-plagued: The TV channel has been caught red-handed for framing Mr X

Said media reports: We don’t want to mention the competition, when they come out with exclusives

War-torn: Strong US military presence in the area

Riot-torn: Civil war

Peace treaty: Large-scale trade agreement

Warning: We can’t accuse you yet, but we will when we get the evidence

Accusation: We don’t have anything to lose in accusing you

Terrorist: Any poor guy, who wears a moustache/turban, prays to Mecca, hails from an island nation/gulf country or has the misfortune to exchange a few heated words with US Security will be instantaneously labelled a Terrorist and shipped off to Guantanamo Bay.

Said officials: The reporter, didn’t bother to get their names

Said an official on conditions of anonymity: The reporter was too lazy even to ask questions

Said top-officials: The reporter’s childhood friend who works as a clerk in the government department

Reliable source: The reporter, who didn’t get quotes
Reliable sources: The reporter and the sub-editor

Matinee idol: A starlet featured on the covers of Vogue

Teen idol: A starlet featured on MTV

Recently: We don’t the know the date of the event

Shocking revelation: It definitely has something to do with sex

It was reported: This is our follow-up story on the story we missed

Rachel Chitra

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Mistakes, Mistakes….

A sub-editor’s life is all about getting it right 99 times and getting yelled for the one time she (he) didn’t get it right. The whole problem I feel is lack of time. I remember copy-pasting one entire chunk only to see the next day morning that the small pointer, which was supposed to read

See also Page 2, Gates on N-deal, instead read (horror of horrors), Bill Gates on N-deal. Of course, my team mates did’nt let me forget this goof-up for a long time…sundry jokes on how Microsoft inked the N-deal abounded.

The other errors that made life more bearable for us, was when a reporter filed a copy on the death of an elephant.

It read:


Chennai, April 1: An elephant died of a heart attack near Dindigul on Sunday morning at a temple. (And next comes the beauty of beauties) She was female.….

And then there was my colleague, who missed this line in a story on our P.C. (finance minister not our terminal, though the rate at which they function is the same: Dead slow!): “the minister said discreet factors were involved in any budget, and it could not be dismissed as a poll-driven one,” instead of “discrete factors were involved..” Of course most of what our politicians say is dubious, but the correspondent’s typwriting error and the sub’s casualness resulted in a heap of coals on all our heads from the heads.

And some mistakes are so easy to make…like phonetic errors….”well-nown carnatic singer..” “non other than …”

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