I think what most people forget is that it was the copytaker who got you out of trouble at the very beginning – ‘Are you sure that is the Procurator Fiscal’s name and not that of the Sheriff Clerk?’ is one that I remember on the first day of covering a new court.
And they were the people who knew how to spell Inveraray – now mis-spelled regularly in publications that should know better. And they knew which hospital car crash victims would be taken if you told them where the accident was.
I also remember doing a story for the Evening Times around the same time about some canoeists attempting to canoe across the English Channel and they spent three or four days waiting in France for the right conditions. On the fourth day the copytaker told me not to bother reading over the copy, just let him know if they were doing it that day or not as he had a the story from previous days.
Iain Fleming, News reporter at Evening Times, Daily Mail, The Herald