Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Good work

19 Responses

  • Evan Yates,

    the knack of knowing not what to change

    Perhaps you still need an “Alison” in your online life…? :-)
    ...or was that some sort of ironic sub-text thingee?

    Hamiltron, Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Nov 2006 • 197 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Evan Yates,

    Perhaps you still need an “Alison” in your online life…? :-)
    …or was that some sort of ironic sub-text thingee?

    No, it was me not typing as accurately as I think.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

  • Finlay Macdonald,

    Hear hear. The ex Listener sub-squad is legion, too - Simon Wilson at Metro, Mark Cubey at RNZ, Rachel Scott at Otago Uni Press, to name a few. Interestingly, it was Tom McWilliams - my vote for the greatest sub of all - who pointed out to me that the word "interestingly" in journalism should be redundant, since what we wrote should by definition be interesting. I never use it any more,

    Since Apr 2013 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    This might sound like wretched arse kissing, but The Listener’s arts/books editor Guy Somerset is going to get some ups. Had six reviews in the magazine over the last year, and every single one of them is better because Guy’s an infuriating pest who will ask nicely (but firmly) for a tweak on anything that’s… not quite there. And isn’t it funny how easily the ego gets put in the back seat when someone genuinely thinks your work is worth it?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Evan Yates,

    some sort of ironic sub-text thingee

    started a trend..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19667 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Herald sub manages to take a story about Cameron Brewer admitting something might be true and crafts headline that conveniently matches said rag's editorial line on the matter: 'Brewer denies journalist prompt'. Speaking power to truth since forever.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19667 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Sacha,

    Herald sub manages to take a story about Cameron Brewer admitting something might be true and crafts headline that conveniently matches said rag’s editorial line on the matter: ’Brewer denies journalist prompt’.

    Where Brewer and The Herald's bad bromance is concerned, it's never a bad time to quote Mandy Rice-Davies.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • martinb, in reply to Finlay Macdonald,

    Since a sentence ago, huh?

    And there seem to be some of the great columnists I remember whose work occasionally pops up there too- recent issue having Braunias and the man with the name at the top as well.

    I think it is the only magazine that can compare to the broad appeal of the Listener in terms of its risk taking, in that it has (a lot!) of Steve Braunias's work and writers of the Public Address ilk, as well as Matthew Hooton.

    (What do you do with people whose name ends in 's'? Is it Braunias' work or Braunias's work?)

    Auckland • Since Jul 2010 • 203 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to martinb,

    (What do you do with people whose name ends in ‘s’? Is it Braunias’ work or Braunias’s work?)

    Both are technically correct, but because when you say it out loud you pronounce it “Brauniassus” rather than “Braunias”, in this case use the latter.

    Yeah. I am surprisingly fun on dates, honest.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Calder,

    Emma, you are driving me wild with passion. I want you to whisper in my ear about subjunctives, dummy subjects, misrelated participles and the misuse of the word "irony".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 66 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Calder,

    Having worked often alongside Alison in the subbery, I can attest to her precise and painstaking professionalism and (important) her abiding respect for writers' intentions. No copy leaves her desk without having been (usually invisibly) improved. She will be hugely missed. And Finlay's right about Tom McWilliams ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 66 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Peter Calder,

    Having worked often alongside Alison in the subbery, I can attest to her precise and painstaking professionalism and (important) her abiding respect for writers’ intentions.

    This.

    No copy leaves her desk without having been (usually invisibly) improved.

    And this.

    She will be hugely missed. And Finlay’s right about Tom McWilliams …

    And this!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

  • Venetia King,

    This news makes me sad, as a lifelong Listener reader prone to wincing at mistakes. I wonder if I'll be noticing more of those in future.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 112 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Peter Calder,

    I want you to whisper in my ear about subjunctives, dummy subjects

    she's used to that by now

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19667 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Hosking,

    I don't know if he's survived the current cull but I'll also put in a huge plug for chief sub Michael Collins.

    When he was at NBR he used to not only sub the words but he would [deep breath now] CHECK JOURNALISTS' MATHS.

    And he was good at it.

    So, back in the print only days, if you got a call from Michael late morning Thursday, you knew he'd been going over your numbers and found something not quite right.

    South Roseneath • Since Nov 2006 • 830 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Brislen,

    I too know of a couple of Qantas awards that should have had the sub-editor's name stamped on them (cough cough Mark Broatch) rather than the "reporter's".

    A bad sub can ruin a team if not the whole publication, but a good sub is worth their weight in gold, especially one that checks your maths. Bloody hell!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 198 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Finlay Macdonald,

    pointed out to me that the word "interestingly" in journalism should be redundant

    My PhD supervisor informed me that "clearly" does not belong in a scientific paper for equivalent reasons.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4449 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Both are technically correct, but because when you say it out loud you pronounce it “Brauniassus” rather than “Braunias”, in this case use the latter.

    So if you're quoting someone who was talking about Braunias' work you should use "Braunias's".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4449 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    In the case of Fairfax’s “right first time” policy

    Boggle!

    Seriously, I write a lot. I even write reasonably well. I’m quite good at reading the literature and making connections and bringing together data in a way that allows other scientists, or managers, or grant approval panels, to understand what I’m trying to communicate*.

    But not for second would I ever let something serious leave my desktop without getting at least two other people to help make it better than it was when it left my fingers.

    Maybe they should change it to “rightish first time”.



    *That doesn't mean they'll fund me, just that they understood me.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4449 posts Report Reply

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