A multi award-winning business journalist has taken up a new role influencing the future of Norfolk’s economy.
Chris Starkie has left his post as business editor of Norwich’s Eastern Daily Press after five years to become chief executive of Shaping Norfolk’s Future.
The lobby partnership is responsible for improving the county’s economy and Chris will be working with 300 different businesses and organisations to boost its profile.
Chris believes his extensive contacts book and knowledge of Norfolk’s business community may have landed him the role above other candidates.
The 37-year-old said: “It’s a bit of poacher turned gamekeeper.
“I have been commenting from the sides and we’ve not always been big supporters at the EDP of regional development agencies.
“Like most papers we were there in a critical role, looking at the way things are done. It will be an interesting relationship.”
He was crowned business journalist of the year at EDF Energy East of England Media Awards for three years running, picking up his third accolade earlier this year.
Chris said the main reason for leaving journalism and embarking on a new chapter in his career was the chance to actively influence business rather than just comment from the sidelines.
He added: “In journalism we sit and write about things but I am sure lots of people in the profession have thought we could do a better job ourselves.
“It’s just an interesting role and gives me the chance to use five years of knowledge of the community and put it to good use.
“It was a difficult decision to leave journalism. When I started my career I always saw myself as a journalist but on the other hand I thought this was a fantastic opportunity to try something different.
“I wanted to be the person making the decisions rather than explaining them.”