If you disagree with the Fairfax decision to outsource subediting on the Sydney Morning Herald (more details here), you can email the editor today: firstname.lastname@example.org
This is what I wrote:
Dear Mr Hywood
I have been subscribed to the Herald since I came to Australia from New Zealand in 1998. I really love the paper; it makes me think, which is a considerable achievement in the mornings, and it often makes me laugh, which is a bonus. I have the paper copy delivered, but I often also read it online during the day.
I know what sub-editing work is, and I am really concerned that outsourcing sub-editing will change the paper for the worse. I’m not against change at all – I immigrated at the age of 49 and have undertaken a PhD in recent years. But, as you well know, the influence of subs extends beyond fitting stories into holes; they write those wonderful headlines, and deliver the ‘look-and-feel’ that makes the Herald the paper I enjoy so much. When it wasn’t delivered three mornings in a row recently I was bereft – the laptop in bed isn’t a substitute on a Saturday morning. (Yes, I rang and complained – every morning.)
Reading a paper, for me, is about more than the delivery of information. It’s about feeling part of this city, about making links between the pieces of information in its pages and what I see and hear, and thus understanding the bigger picture. I believe that subs who are enculturated into the Herald ‘way’ can only enrich the experience for readers.
Please, don’t outsource the subediting!
Yours in hope