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A sub editor will be employed by either a newspaper, magazine or online publisher to ensure that all content which is due to be published is correct in terms of spelling, grammar, layout and factual accuracy and that it conforms to the tone, style and viewpoint of the publishing house. To do this, sub editors need a broad understanding of the subject of the publication and of the target readership.
They will work closely with all members of the editorial department, along with external contributors, such as writers, journalists, proof readers and copy editors and will scrutinise all written material before it is published, checking for mistakes in language and style.
Sub editors are sometimes responsible for ensuring that material conforms to copyright laws and that it will not present legal problems or general controversy.
They will have to edit and often rewrite copy submitted by editors and writers.
The sub editor may be asked to come up with titles, subtitles, taglines and introductions to accompany articles and features and captions to be placed alongside images, which will then have to be approved by the editor. • They sometimes contribute to the design aspect of a publication by organising page layouts, assisting picture researchers and photographers and editing visuals.
The sub editor may also be responsible for uploading printed content online and assisting with online design and layout.
Many sub editors work freelance.