One of the things that wise old hands in print journalism always used say to newbies into the industry was, "Look after the small stuff." That is to say, a publication where the details are strong is a publication doing well: no spelling mistakes, text locked to baseline grid, captions scrubbed hard, and so forth.
The sign of a publication on song is where the subbing goes beyond competence and into the realm of entertainment. On that measure, Observer Sport
is a publication singing lustily right now. As evidence, get hold of a copy of today's supplement, and in the centre-spread half term report on the Premiership so far
, have a look at the bottom right-hand corner.
The section is titled 'The small print', and what could have been a dry litany of dull stats is enlivened by the canny use of footballing slang as headings. To whit:
*On the spot - Penalties scored
*Big man - Headed goals
*Slide-rule - Passes
*Hard as nails - Tackles
*In the mixer - Crosses
*No prisoners - Fouls
*Caught in a trap - Cuaght offside
*Safe hands - Clean sheets
*Cow, banjo - Shots without scoring
All that was needed was some way of working 'early doors' and 'Hollywood ball' into that list.
Labels: editorial observer subbing sport small print football