Quality subbing not on the agenda


The Courier-Mail in Brisbane has made an early bid for the annual gold Wankley for worst headline of the year with the stunning effort (above) from earlier this week.

The paper’s early bid for we-always-give-bad-head glory has come about because the naughty Labor government in Queensland has an agenda – GET IT! A-G-E-N-D-A- to outlaw conversion therapy in proposed legislation.

Conversion therapy involves attempts to change or suppress a person’s sexual orientation and identity. GET IT! It’s a G-E-N-D-E-R thing!

The Bug knows nothing about such things but can conjure up visions of religious nutters tying up Paul who wants to be Pauline and trying to make him respond to photos of naked ladies – with their nipples and other naughty bits airbrushed out, of course.

So, in his or her efforts to be considered for the gold Wankley, how did our Courier sub end up with the shitty and stupid effort above?

They were in trouble from the get-go because they simply wanted the “shocks docs” ending to their effort. They would have done that without thinking, purely because of where they work. It’s an anti-Labor story so the heading needs to beat that up big-time. “Fear” becomes “shocks”.

But this is where the problem starts. Using “shocks” as a verb makes the heading foolish and, to apply an old term used in the fine craft of journalism, well and truly fucked up.

Could it have been saved? Maybe.

ALP a gender worry for docs …..

or ALP a gender shock for docs….

Both work better – they makes sense and still give a nod to the agenda wordplay – but the sub would have had to ask their superiors (if they exist)  for a reduction in type size and/or excessive kerning and good subs never do that.

And especially never when the suggested head is not exactly in Gold Walkley territory for great headline writing.

So we were all confronted with ALP a gender shocks docs.

Still, we should all just be thankful that The Courier-Mail is a quality compact. Just imagine how awful that heading would have been if the Brisbane monopoly had been a trashy tabloid?

courier mail dunny joke.jpg