Saturday, 4 October 2008

A bedrock of community journalism calls it a day

On Friday I went to the leaving lunch of one of the unrecognised bedrocks of quality community journalism.

He took the opportunity to take a far too early retirement (in my opinion). You can hardly blame him considering the fact that he joined the industry in very different times.

Straight from school in 1965 he entered the world of journalism at his local paper. While ownership changed around him, it is where he stayed for the full length of his career.

He worked through what have been described as the “glory days of British journalism”, with the move from broadsheet to tabloid, hot metal to computers and now the internet. And at every stage he embraced the change – even writing a blog.

When I first met him, as a junior reporter on his title, he was News Editor. He set the benchmark for that position which I have not seen any News Editor since him meet.

Under his patient tutelage hundreds of reporters got a grounding in journalism before spring boarding onto bigger (but maybe not greater) things. I’m never surprised to meet a journalist from anywhere in the country, at any level, who benefited from his guidance during the formative years of their careers.

A lot of reporters owe him a thank you.

Happy retirement Cliff.

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