Staff at Bobballs are great admirers of the quiet, unglamorous work of the noble subeditor. So much of a newspaper’s personality and the critical relationship it holds with its readers is communicated through the subeditor.
And so it is in today’s Sunday Life. On this occasion the Sunday Life shows us the difference between the informing headline (undoubtedly written by a reporter) and the absorbing headline (undoubtedly written by a sub).
The story? Erm… whales die in mass stranding on a beach in Tasmania.
First up, the informing headline. Early wire copy pasted up on the Sunday Life website states the following:
Fair’nuff (yawn). But for chrissakes, this is Sunday – where’s the lurid detail?
But wait! Here comes the absorbing headline. When the bulked out substitute copy arrives, the noble subeditor really sets to work. The updated story thunders:
Battered to death on rocks!?! A stranding then a savage beating? Mother Nature takes dozens of whales down to Chinatown? Now that’s a story to pass the ‘Hey Beryl test’!!