It’ll be all white on the night

It’s now official!

The Bug’s Media Glass House has finally given up trying to get the two Nine Entertainment Co. mastheads to at least look professional.

We’ve banged on relentlessly over time to try to embarrass/cajole/tenderly lead the remaining, hard-pressed subs at The Sydney Morning Herald and The Sun-Herald to perfect the craft of headline writing across the gutter.

Especially so, seeing the page layout designers at both papers love the practice.

Sadly, the example (at top) from last weekend’s Sun-Herald and the one below from its sister Saturday show clearly that the down table hacks at both couldn’t give a toss over how the paper looks.

In the olden, golden days of journalism, sub-editors delighted in the challenge of making those headings over two pages look as normal as possible but for as long as The Bug can remember, these Herald subs have been happy to split the headline somewhere in the middle and set the left not-quite-half-left hard left and the right not-quite-right-half hard right.

The result has often been ugly, and while we know the Heralds love white space in just about every aspect of page layout – you’d be hard-pressed to see more white in an Apartheid-era South African rugby side – it does look awful in a heading.

Both examples shown here would have taken a nanosecond to fix: by moving ’on’ to the left had page in the example at top; ditto for ‘our’ in the example above and then setting both right-page words flush left. It’s not rocket surgery, is it? Okay, the one above might have needed the teensy-weensiest bit of kerning.

The MGH can almost hear old subs rolling in their graves over this sub-editing deliquency, especially those who relished spending just a few minutes adjusting two or three decks right across two facing pages; the ones you’d actually need to change the heading here, there and everywhere and when there was even one character short on any deck, left or right, in the finished product, the sub was taken out back and shot.

So, from now on, The Bug is only going to be interested in content in the Herald, although it appreciates the enormity of the task in the Heralds continue to run the columns of Parnell Palme McGuinness.