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May 14, 2008


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Sarah Addyman

Hi Katie

The world of copywriting seems to be split into two camps: conceptual copywriting, which is a role within an advertising agency; and commercial copywriting, which is everything else including website copy and press releases.

I'm a former journalist and there's no doubt that this has increased my kudos. But I'd say it was my time as a sub editor, not as a reporter, that made a difference.

Reporters need only find the angle of the story; if they write the actual article badly, the sub editor can sort it out.

It's why I'm very wary of bylines and people saying "look what I've done". I want to see the version before it was touched by the news editor, sub editor and editor please!

I also found the Diploma in Plain English I completed was a great help because it filled the gaps in my understanding of the English language that my modern education left.

I trained on-the-job as a journalist and don't have my NCTJ qualification. I've met people who have this qualification who show the sniffyness you're talking about towards me... even though I've worked as a sub editor on three national tabloids.

Press releases produced by PR agencies are great as filler stories and news in brief for trade publications - and I've seen well written ones going in with very few tweaks. This job is also done by the sub editor, so many reporters don't even know this happens.


(I discovered your blog through your twitter account, which is on the attendance list of the Media Cafe event next week - which, fingers crossed, I'll be at!)

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