A daily editor has greeted his paper’s victory at yesterday’s EDF Energy South West Media Awards by hailing ‘passion’ as the key to successful journalism.
Ian Mean, editor of The Citizen, has penned a leading article in today’s paper after it was named Daily Newspaper of the Year at yesterday’s ceremony in Bath.
Ian was not present to collect the award in person, which was picked up by assistant editor Jenny Eastwood and two senior colleagues.
Jenny told HTFP afterwards: “We’re absolutely thrilled. We do pride ourselves on community news and we also pride ourselves on innovation. We’re really proud of the achievment.”
However Ian had his say in a 500-word editorial published in today’s Citizen in which he praised his staff and cited ‘passionate’ campaigning and reporting as the key to its success.
Said Ian: “I do not believe that a good journalist is bred from a string of examination results.What I know from my experience of over 40 years in this business on national and regional newspapers is that one quality is the key. That is passion.
“We need to be passionate in reporting our communities. We need to be passionate in our campaigns. We need to be passionate in our debates on key issues that involve you, our readers.”
Here is Ian’s leader in full:
Your Citizen yesterday won the EDF Energy South West newspaper of the year award.
I am extremely proud of my staff for that but this award must also be shared by YOU, our readers.
My team write for you. They respond to you with their stories and the issues we then raise as a result of your concerns.
Without you, The Citizen, which is one of the oldest newspapers in the country—first published in 1876— would not survive.
Yes, in the world of online and Facebook, newspapers like The Citizen are obviously challenged.
But do not write us off. Our website, thisisgloucestershire has a big audience—often reaching nearly 30 000 unique users daily.
We do move with the times—our heads are not buried in the sand.
Last Thursday, we published our newspaper as The Young Citizen, written by young people. I felt that our young people were not getting the voice they really deserved.
It was a first and the reaction from those young people and their schools was remarkable. Teachers told me that with several of the students , working on that special issue had almost changed their lives-that pleased me.
A newspaper like The Citizen is like any other business—its greatest asset is its people.
That is so very true with my team.
I do not believe that a good journalist is bred from a string of examination results.What I know from my experience of over 40 years in this business on national and regional newspapers is that one quality is the key.
That is passion.
We need to be passionate in reporting our communities. We need to be passionate in our campaigns. We need to be passionate in our debates on key issues that involve you, our readers.
Apart from being passionate in their work, my reporting team need to have your trust—without that we are not credible. And our reporting must be accurate.
I am afraid we often make mistakes. We must get better and we must always remember to put right a wrong committed in print.
I hope you will look at the front pages of the editions we submitted for these awards on page 2 today .I think they reflect what The Citizen is all about as your local newspaper.
The front page reporting the rioting in Barton & Tredworth last year had a headline: The Morons Who Shamed Our City. I wrote that headline believing that this would be our readers’ reaction.
The Weekend Citizen to celebrate Prince William’s wedding last April had everything I wanted for that glorious day—lots of pictures of our happy communities and sparkling coverage of the event. A Day to Remember.
Then there was the revelation by our chief reporter, Ben Falconer, that Adrian Prout would be able to lead police to the place where he had hidden his wife’s body after murdering her.
A big thankyou to my team of journalists and a big thankyou to YOU our loyal readers for supporting us