A linguistic-ethnographic investigation into the role of sub-editing at a broadsheet newspaper

Een linguïstisch-etnografisch onderzoek naar de rol van de eindredacteur bij een kwaliteitskrant
Begin - Einde 
2011 - 2017 (afgewerkt)
Vakgroep Taalkunde
Vakgroep Vertalen, Tolken en Communicatie



In line with recent claims that media research should not only chart the professional cultures of “privileged” full-time reporters and hence marginalize other news workers (Wahl-Jorgenson 2009), the project investigates the process of sub-editing at a broadsheet newspaper in Flanders (and the Netherlands), using a linguistic ethnographic approach. Sub-editing is generally defined as the re-writing of news stories and features by checking them for factual errors or other legal dangers and making them fit the allocated space in a newspaper (Franklin et al 2005).The project, however, researchers how the sub-editors fit in the daily news production process and how their input actually influences the final news product. To illustrate this, the project aims to present a number of case studies of how sub-editing has an impact on the complex entextualizations at the heart of an individual news story, including its headline, lead and caption.By demonstrating how sub-editing goes beyond mere issues of document design, we aim to work towards a more complete definition of the sub-editor as a gatekeeper or - in the language of Gieber (1964) - as a genuine ‘newspaperman’, and hence toward a better understanding of newsmaking practice.