Not only must the story you are subbing be accurate, clear and readable and of the right length; it must also be legally safe to print. Production delays caused by a late decision to take a story found to be libellous out of a page can cost money and lose sales.

Subeditors and the law

All newspapers retain a trained lawyer or senior journalist versed in the law to read copy and advise the editor of potential legal traps. If a story is considered unsafe to use, the legal person, after consulting the editor or chief subeditor, will issue a legal kill, which means it must be thrown away or removed from the computer. ...

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