More of what subbing is about . . .
A nazi war criminal is being brought to trial in Eastern Europe. He is 85, confined to a wheelchair and is pushed into court by a nurse. It's a preliminary hearing but the charges are read in detail the nurse sheds a tear. He struggles to hear. There are demonstrations, the occasional outburst; lots of colour and the writer has captured all of it, a fact not lost on the editor who thinks its a great piece.
The chief sub gives it to you and tells you to be sensitive: the editor loves every word.
But there are 300 too many. You've got to cut it by a third but not lose a thing. The good news is you have 90 minutes to do it. The bad news: it includes the headline that has to sing, a strap, a standfirst, two pull quotes and five captions.
What the hell, you get to work the text.
This is bespoke tailoring. If you’re on form, the chief sub won't see the join. And neither will the editor.
And the writer will thank you.
More follows . .