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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington N.Z. Vol. 11, No. 1. February 27, 1948



The bulk of material is handed in by reporters on Wednesday (8th day) when the subbing staff sorts out the wheat from the chaff, and prepares what is to be published. Newspapers sub-edit mainly with scissors and paste but professional reporters write to a formula, so that necessary cuts can be made without having to recast. Salient contributions, without exception, have to be recast—which means re-writing.

Now it is one thing to re-write a clean typescript, and quite another to re-write or even read a pencil copy written on the back of an old letter, with corrections re-corrected in pencil. (Yes, it actually happens). Such copy, though it be word perfect, must be typed before it can go to the printer. The compositor makes two correct taps per second on a machine ten times more involved than a typewriter, every second of the working day, so cannot be expected to edit copy wholesale. If such copy MUST go in, it is subject, and rightly so, to surcharge. A major fault In both reporters and contributors is that copy is too discursive and loosely written. All such copy has to be re-written. Finally, a "style" is set for Salient as for every other publication, which should be generally followed. The professional writer follows style no matter to which paper he is writing. He also writes to the space available whether it be 100 words, or 1,000. Yet, if by any unforseen chance his space is short, and his copy must be cut, it can be slashed to the bone with scissors and paste, and yet remain a reasonable, balanced write-up.

While we cannot expect such a standard from Salient contributors, the present standard can be bettered. There should not be the need for one sub-editor alone to re-write 2,500 words of a single issue as happens now.

As much material as possible is typed before it goes to the printer. Good legible ink script can be passed if necessary. Heads, sub-heads, leaders, legends and general typography are worked out for every article, and the whole of the edited MSS are sent to the printer by Thursday (9th day). Sunday (12th day) sees the editors and subs busy again proof reading and doing make up. Each page is pasted up from the proofs, and this paste-up goes back to the printer on Monday (13th day) for printing so that Salient can be issued two days later Stop Press items often displace other material so that the whole page has to be re-arranged.