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Journalism News Digest: No substitute for experience

Journalism is often described as a young person’s game – but if that was ever the case, then Margaret Watson certainly broke the mould.

The regional press stalwart this week celebrated fifty years on the staff of the Dewsbury Reporter, during which time she has been reporter, news editor, features editor, assistant editor and deputy editor.

It is one of a series of milestones for the West Yorkshire weekly, which once counted Star Trek’s Patrick Stewart among its reporting staff.

Not only did the paper celebrate its 150th anniversary, it also acquired a new editor in Hannah Ridgeway.

Other job moves saw Bedfordshire on Sunday deputy editor Liz O’Reilly swap Middle England for the Middle East as she became Stan Szecowka’s deputy at Gulf Weekly in Barhrain, while Charles McGhee quit as editor of Scottish morning daily The Herald after two and a half years in the chair.

And Northcliffe moved to complete its senior editorial line-up of by advertising for a regional editorial director for its South East Weeklies division.

It was a good week for the Society of Editors, with victory in its long-running campaign to scrap magistrates’ court charges for supplying lists of court decisions.

The Society also unveiled a star-studded line-up for its annual conference in November, with Paul Dacre and Andrew Marr among the keynote speakers.

There was more bad news on the jobs front, with the confirmation of a shake-up at Central Counties News affecting 34 jobs in the South Midlands, and the loss of ten editorial jobs at the Newsquest owned Argus, in Brighton.

Newsquest however won plaudits for its decision – in the face of a 19pc slump in classified ad revenue – to ban adult services ads from its 305 UK titles.

But back in Yorkshire….deputy editor of the Yorkshire Post Duncan Hamilton evoked memories of summers long gone with his new book celebrating the writing of the late JM Kilburn, the YP’s cricket correspondent for 42 years.

Some might say they don’t make them like that any more. Margaret Watson, though, might beg to differ.