Telegraph experiments with “post moderation” of news stories

Telegraph Media Group is experimenting with “post moderation” of news stories posted on to its website.

Telegraph assistant editor Justin Williams revealed the change in editorial policy at a panel debate in London last night on the future of newspapers.

The move means that in many cases Telegraph reporters are now posting their stories directly to the internet – without recourse to a sub-editor – and that the stories are then amended by another journalist, if necessary, once already live on the site.

It is a development which will be seen as another blow to the role of sub-editors – who have been hit hard by cost cutting across the journalism industry in recent months.

Williams, whose job involves implementing digital and print integration across Telegraph editorial teams, said: ‘We’re experimenting with post moderation on web stories – so we have either the desk or, in an increasing number of instances, writers publishing all stories direct to the website.

‘Our production journalists then post moderate that content after it has been put live and we use this as the first stage in the newspaper sub-editing process.”

In September, Express Newspapers revealed that it was axing more than 80 journalists – most of whom are subs – as it brought in a new production system.

And London financial daily City AM has done away with sub-editors altogether.

Last year Press Gazette’s report of comments made by Mecom chief executive David Montgomery at a dinner prompted a debate about the future of sub-editors.

He said: ‘I see a situation where experienced journalists that can be trusted have no barrier to communication with their audience.

‘Sub-editing is a twilight world, checking things you don’t really need to check…Senior people will always monitor the content, a core group will create the product.”

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