Judging by some of the comments under my last post, I wasn't entirely convincing when I said that, in some circumstances, introducing a subbing stage into the journalistic process can damage the user experience.
Let me try to explain what I mean.
The circumstances I am thinking of are those where the journalist and audience are interacting in a conversational way, in real-time (or close to it) - for example in a discussion forum, a live chat or a blog discussion. In these circumstances, having every word the journalist writes checked and possibly re-written by a sub can interfere with the dynamic.
You don't have to look to the web to see examples of this. We have all laughed at recordings of interviews from the very early days of television, where the interview was scripted and subbed, resulting in a stilted, wooden delivery (famously parodied by Harry Enfield as Mr Cholmondeley-Warner). And imagine what John Humphries' interviews on the Today programme would sound like if everything he said to his interviewees was written down and subbed before being passed back to him to read out.
I'm definitely NOT saying that subbing should disappear. There are many circumstances where it makes a huge improvement in the quality of the experience (for the reasons described by some commenters on my last post, and others). What I am saying is, as we already know with live TV & radio, subbing is sometimes not appropriate.
One of the differences between the web and print media is that the web can be used for interactive, real-time experiences that have more in common with a live event such as a conference or a group discussion than with publishing.
So, as I frequently tell our journalists, when deciding how to behave, it is often useful to ask the question: "what would we do if this were really a live event, with the audience in the same room as the journalists?" The implications go far wider than simply whether or not to sub.