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Sub editing and search engine optimisation for magazines
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Sub editing and search engine optimisation for magazines

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Lecture on sub editing for magazines, with a range of activities and information on subbing for SEO

Lecture on sub editing for magazines, with a range of activities and information on subbing for SEO

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Sub editing and search engine optimisation for magazines Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Paul Bradshaw Senior Lecturer, Online Journalism, Magazines and New Media, School of Media, Birmingham City University, UK (mediacourses.com) Blogger, Online Journalism Blog Sub editing and SEO for magazines
  • 2. Golden rules
    • Check for legals
    • Draw the reader in
    • On the web: think about how you’d search
  • 3. Why learn to sub?
    • Professional presentation of your own work
    • Subs being laid off – but everyone expected to sub
    • Search engine optimisation becoming key skill
  • 4. Bradshaw’s Impossible Spelling & Grammar Test!
    • 14 questions, 25 points – the point is to learn, not to prove your ability!
  • 5. Bradshaw’s Impossible Spelling & Grammar Test!
    • Minuscule
    • They’re living in their house over there (3)
    • Blond man
    • It’s got its tail caught in its teeth (3)
    • She was definitely humorous (2)
    • The burglar stole some jewellery (2)
    • manoeuvre
    • I believed him – but he deceived me (2)
    • gauge
    • He had a driving licence – and he was licensed to kill (2) (same applies to advice and advise, practice and practise)
    • liaise
    • He had one tomato and two potatoes (2)
    • The principal thing was not to forget your principles
    • She sat on the Portaloo drinking from a Thermos (2) (these are trademarks and so should be capitalised)
  • 6. What a sub (sub-editor) does
    • Varies wildly –
    • Some newspaper subs control layout of page, placement, type size, etc.
    • Others focus on proofing, facts, legals, etc.
    • Headlines, captions, subheadings, bylines, standfirsts, and pullquotes
    • Publication style
    • Repurposes copy from PA etc.
  • 7. Subbing – the Intro
    • Is it snappy?
    • Does it grab the reader?
    • Does it make sense? (read with new eyes)
    • Is it up-to-date?
    • Is it a readable length?
  • 8. Subbing – story structure
    • Does the story back up the intro?
    • Does the story unfold naturally?
    • Are there any obvious gaps?
    • Are quotes used sensibly?
    • Check key facts aren’t left until last
  • 9. Subbing – language
    • Is the story in house style?
    • Cut out waffle/clichés
    • Don’t overload the story
  • 10. Subbing – quotes
    • Are they worth using?
    • Is it obvious who said what?
    • Are they in readable chunks?
    • Don’t jump around too much
    • Don’t alter without a good reason
  • 11. Subbing – key facts
    • Name
    • Age
    • Address
    • Job
    • Who/why/what/where/when/how
    • Background – don’t assume anything
  • 12. Subbing – checking up
    • News editor/reporter
    • Cuttings files
    • Newspapers on file
    • Reference books
    • NOT Wikipedia – source of many errors, so Google ‘Wikipedia mistake + name of person’
  • 13. Subbing – checklist
    • Check it’s necessary – can you add or adjust?
    • Check facts against original
    • Check spelling – esp. names
    • Have quotes been reproduced accurately or paraphrased fairly?
    • Has house style been followed?
  • 14. Subbing – checklist
    • Has the best, most unusual or personalized angle gone into the intro?
    • Are handwritten bits on proofs readable?
    • Is copy marked up correctly?
    • Have you kept to the word or paragraph count?
    • Is EVERYTHING totally clear?
  • 15. Headlines
    • Tell and sell the story
    • Cliché free (bid, rap, quiz, probe, dash)
  • 16. Cliché headline generator
  • 17. The classic headline: Man bites dog
    • Short words
    • O bjects, not concepts
    • Active verb ( is – not ‘to be’)
    • Present tense (bites, not bit)
    • Tells the story
    • Has immediacy and impact
  • 18. What to focus on
    • Names: personalise where possible
    • Quotes: select key point
    • Look ahead: report news, not history
    • Main interest: don’t be obscure
    • Off-beat: unusual angle, especially in features
    • Word play: don’t be too clever
    • Puns: go easy
  • 19. Do something now
    • You should have a sheet of photocopied ‘In Brief’ stories. Write a headline – or more - for each one. Pick out the best. See what other people have come up with .
  • 20. Captions
    • Explain photos (don’t describe them!)
    • Lure readers
    • Add personality (humour, creativity)
    • Relate to picture, don’t confuse with.
      • Consistency of placement
      • Proximity to pic
      • Underneath if possible
  • 21. Caption writing tips
    • Brainstorm words associated with the imagery
    • Think of common phrases that feature one of those words
    • E.g. for an image of some eye make-up to go with an article on fashion: “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”
    • Don’t just retell the story – relate it
    • Watch your tenses
  • 22. Do something now
    • Find some images for one of these stories (think laterally, not literally):
      • An article about pig farmers
      • Piece about punk music
      • Piece about Asian fashion
      • Celebrity chefs
      • Computer hackers
      • Male grooming
      • Diet fads
    • Try PAPhotos, Mirrorpix, Corbis, other image libraries
    • Brainstorm words and phrases around image
    • Use those to come up with captions
  • 23. Subbing for the web: SEO
    • Headlines and subheadings crucial to how search engines ‘rank’ you for particular searches
    • Users scan-read for relevancy
    • Puns and clever headlines don’t work
    • Include key words, e.g. names, places
    • E.g. ‘Kerry Katona’s GMTV disaster’
  • 24. Do something now
    • Take your ‘In Brief’ headlines and rewrite for the web
  • 25. Paul Bradshaw Senior Lecturer, Online Journalism, Magazines and New Media, School of Media, Birmingham City University, UK (mediacourses.com) Blogger, Online Journalism Blog [email_address]