Cormac McGee

Who’s “in the middle” of this editing gaffe?

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

Correction: An earlier version of this post identified Pacific Newspaper Group as an advertising subsidiary of Postmedia Network Inc. that acts as a photo service. Pacific Newspaper Group is a division of Postmedia and photographers work in the newsrooms. It also stated that Postmedia has centralized editorial duties in Hamilton, Ontario, but some copy editing duties are still done in the newsroom.



Do you have a difficult time identifying athletes in photos? Never fear, Vancouver’s the Province and the Sun have you covered.

Last week, both newspapers posted a photo of prospect Jordan Subban celebrating his first NHL exhibition goal as a Vancouver Canuck. The photo—credited to Steve Bosch of Pacific Newspaper Group, a division of Postmedia Network Inc. —identified Subban as the “dark guy in the middle,” squeezed between four happy teammates.


The caption lived for all of 15 minutes before being called out by readers on Twitter. Both newspapers quickly apologized both publicly and privately to Subban.

As the same caption ran on both websites, it likely came from somebody outside the newsroom and was missed by a tired, overworked editor. CBC’s Ian Hanomansing and Shane Foxman speculated as much, chuckling at the gaffe, while Carly Weeks with The Globe and Mail suggested  it was a lazy caption that relied on the lowest common denominator as a way to identify someone. There’s no real excuse here, but there is an explanation.

But as Yahoo! blogger Neate Sager points out, this error highlights the deeper issue of copy editing in Canada’s dailies. Today, most of Canada’s newspapers have centralized or outsourced their copy editing duties. Quick online stories aren’t always vetted. Australian Associated Press subsidiary Pagemasters North America edits giants such as the Toronto Star and the Globe, while Postmedia ’s 10 newspapers have centralized much of their print editing in Hamilton, Ontario. Too often, this makes readers the first judges of quality and credibility, leaving the paper open to public shaming. Removing the protective step of in-house copy editing is like leaving your shoes untied—you may go along fine for a while, but at some point you’re going to trip up.

If running whatever caption sent in by the photo service is common, anybody could have missed it when posting the story at 10 p.m. There were probably editors around the country wiping their brows the next day, thinking, “I’m glad that wasn’t me!”


19 Responses to Who’s “in the middle” of this editing gaffe?

  1. Wayne Moriarty October 1, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    Lazy and wrong. Sigh.

  2. Wayne Moriarty October 1, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    P.S. I refer, of course, to the author of this post

  3. James Klugman October 1, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    Oh. Well, thanks for clarifying and explaining what actually did happen, Mr. Moriarty.

  4. こんにちは率い、あなたが数を知らせる|正しくロードされていない画像を写真はちょうどあなたに与えたいと思った。私はよく分からない理由が、私はそのリンクの問題だと思います。 私は2つの異なるでそれを試してみたし、両方が同じ結果。

  5. 非常にあなたの文章の ながら|快い 登場鳴っ初めに、 座らない沈降さ非常によくいくつかの時間後に私個人。 内|どこかでどこか段落あなたが実際にしばらく。 I しかし|ジャンプあなたに問題があることに持っている仮定と1だろう何うまくへ休憩ヘルプ} {ものを記入。 イベントではあなたが実際それを達成することができ、私は可能性間違いなくこと感銘魅了。

  6. ちょっとそこ!あなたは、Twitterを使用していますか? 私はそれがであるかどうあなたをフォローしたいと思います。私は間違いなく間違いなくよあなたのブログを楽しんで、新しい投稿を楽しみにしています。

  7. September 22, 2015 at 5:36 pm

    But a smiling visitor here to share the love, btw great design and style .


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

13 − three =