When I recommend a magazine article to a friend, I don’t think twice about praising the writer. After all, it’s their by-line and their hard work.
After a visit to Brighton Journalist Works, today, esquire by Esquire Chief Sub-editor Jeremy White, I’ll consider this more carefully before I give credit solely to the author.
So much of what appears on the pages of a magazine is down to the creativity and hard work of the sub-editors. They are unsung heroes without whom the magazine would never get to print.
Essentially, the publication of the magazine is in the sub-editor’s hands.
Subs have to be funny and creative while still having the ability to seamlessly cut copy that has been put in front of them. Far from simply being grammar and spell checkers, sub-editors are responsible for the layout of each page, ensuring the articles are factually correct and complying with the publication’s style.
Jeremy advocated the benefits that come with spending a few years as a freelance sub-editor. Working on different publications gives a sub-editor the opportunity to learn new styles and also to cherry-pick the best of these styles to make them a better, more sought after sub-editor.
He also made the prospect of work experience at Esquire sound simultaneously exciting and scary. No tea-making duties here; student journalists are put straight to work alongside the subbing team. It’s a daunting thought that headlines and copy produced during work experience will end up in the finished magazine.
However, it’s also an amazing portfolio opportunity and not to be missed.
By Greer Robertson