The future of proofreading job
The market of paper-based media such as printing, publishing, and advertisement has kept shrinking. Accordingly, the number of proofreading jobs could have been declining either.
However, the demand for proofreading jobs is even increased.
As you can see on the recruitment website, some industries that used to be irrelevant from proofreading in the past need checking by professionals nowadays. In other words, the target of proofreading is not only paper-based media anymore.
When you look at a wide view, great proofreaders can work in any industry such as Web, movie, game, IT, etc.
１：The role of proofreading
Various industries have started recognizing the importance of telling accurate information, which is the role of proofreading.
No matter if it is paper-based or web media, the goal is delivering precise information. As long as written information is the way how we communicate, there is always a demand for proofreading.
Since it cannot be considered that we would lose written information, the role of proofreading is going to be necessary for the future as well. In this sense, the style of proofreading might be slightly changed depends on the trend.
［From quantity to quality］
Currently, we have numerous internet media. In addition, we see tons of information such as celebrity news that is delivered by websites or smartphone apps.
Internet media focused on quantity to spread their share and expanded services rapidly. However, users do not pay attention to information that has low quality anymore because internet literacy has been improved since a couple of years ago.
The market demand sentences that include catchy phrases and are easy to understand. On the other hand, users cannot focus on the information itself if they have small mistakes in the media.
If you seriously check news articles on the major website that everyone knows, you will perhaps find more than 1 or 2 mistakes.
For example, if you see some articles that probably wanted to say “～います” but actually written ”～いmす ” by a mistake, you will think like “did they really proofread?”. As a result, the media lose their trust from readers.
In short, there is always human error if it is done by hands.
Thus, IT or media companies that deliver information digitally hire proofreaders themselves. Alternatively, these companies also delegate proofreading tasks to external firms.
２：Change mind for proofreading
Even if a proofreading job is highly demanded, it does not make any sense if proofreaders have a stereotype mindset.
Proofreading has a new era that cannot be completed only with your brain and stationaries anymore. It does not matter if it is paper-based or web, or no matter how proofreaders have a high level of digital skills. Indeed, many proofreaders still use analog methods.
There is no future for proofreaders who have a stereotype mindset even if they have great proofreading skills or work in a growing industry.
３：Think what you need
［What I should do right now］
At least, you need to understand what you can do and cannot do with digital proofreading software.
In detail, you need to use free or paid (with free trial) these tools. You can figure out the basic functions of those tools when you check on the official websites.
However, the effect of this software might have been written in an exaggerated way, so that you should not take everything seriously.
Also, since you will not use all of these functions, what is important for you is knowing a particular function that you actually need.
［What you need to know］
- Accuracy of free proofreading software
- Accuracy of paid proofreading software
- Difference in the accuracy of both tools
- What you can do with these tools
- What you cannot do with these tools
※You can also proofread with Microsoft Word.
［Why do you need to know what proofreading software can or cannot do?］
It is necessary to check what you need to learn from now.
Using software efficiently avoids wasting your time. In addition, what you cannot do with proofreading tools means what you should improve your personal skills. In other words, it does not make any sense if you practice something that the automatic tool has already be able to do.
It is huge difference whether if you clearly see what you need to improve for your skill-up.
４：Collaboration and sharing
Some of you might think that you do not like to use proofreading tools. In fact, it is natural that some media or contents are not appropriate to be checked by software.
At this time, you will think about…
“What I need to do from now.”
“What I can do.”
In these situations, you just need to address the work that you are in front of.
You will try to focus on your daily tasks and find out what you can improve such as…
- This process is a burden.
- There are always some mistakes in this part.
- This mistake happens frequently.
［What is important here］
What you can do efficiently in the proofreading process is quite limited. Therefore, it is important to associate with other roles, particularly DTP.
For example, if that mistake happens several times, you would pick up and explain how you can avoid it and improve efficiency to your client. It does not make any sense to indicate the same mistakes many times.
Some proofreaders might think like…
- It does not make any sense to do this because everyone knows it.
- It does not worth doing this.
However, it might be useful or new for people who do not usually proofread.
Therefore, it is vital to collect and share common mistakes.
５：Do not set up a framework
［Improving value of proofreaders］
As I said before, even if it is already well-known information for proofreaders, it might be fresh for editors, managers, designers, writers, operators, and sales because they do not usually proofread.
Sharing information and knowledge by proofreaders is a chance to expand their value.
The effect of this action is even bigger than proofreaders imagine.
To build up your base of work…
- Improve your skill that is required by your client.
- Associate with other roles.
- Sharing your values etc.
There are so many things that you can do.