The editor of an axed Kent newspaper has described staring into an ‘abyss’ as she wonders what is next for the industry.
Christine tells how she walked into the newsroom of the smoke-filled Chatham News in 1974 and began her job as a trainee reporter.
She wrote: “The world of local journalism did not fail in its promise to excite, delight and entertain me and has continued to do so for more than 36 years.
“My first connection with the East Kent Gazette was in April 1979 when I joined as chief reporter. I was newly married and had returned to Kent after a brief period working in London.
“Since then I have continued to work on the Swale titles and made my way up through the ranks to editor, taking over from John Rogers in November 1995. I was the company’s first woman editor and am immensely proud to have served the community for 32 years.
“Now as the Gazette and its sister paper the Medway News stand on the brink of extinction, I gaze into the abyss and wonder what will come next – both for me and for the world of local newspaper journalism.
“Life will most certainly be strange without being first to know what’s going on in the borough. I firmly believe I have had the perfect job, paid for being nosy.
“It’s also been a fantastic way of meeting amazing people, supporting campaigns, righting wrongs and just telling the world of the quirky, delightful and deserving things that go on in any community.”
“So, as this final edition goes to press, my thanks to everyone with whom I have had contact over the years, I couldn’t have done my job without you.”
Christine hopes to develop a memories website to continue the nostalgia pages she worked on for 20 years.
This week the KM Group announced it was to launch a new paid-for title covering the same patch as the one covered by the East Kent Gazette.
The new title – the Sittingbourne News Extra – will go on sale next Wednesday with a cover price of 65p.
Read the full letter here.