Death of copy editing, or death of specialization?
July 8, 2008 - Jeff Jarvis has posted an "utter bullshit" spreadsheet (for discussion only, not to be taken literally) outlining how a newsroom might reorganize to save money and focus on its strengths. One of the notable line items was reducing the number of copy editors (subs, for you Brits) from 15 to three. "Make writers edit," he declared.
It is a timely idea in a profession that just loves a three-point "trend." In London, the free sheet City AM is whacking its entire "subediting team." Down under, Australia's Fairfax Media is cutting 40 of 190 subeditors across the group. I'd mention a U.S. example as the third point, but I can't decide which of last week's layoff announcements to cite.
There will be consequences.
UPDATE: David Sullivan has an amusing take on the copy-editing issue. Anyone who blogs without the safety net of a copy editor knows well what can and will go wrong.