An editor dedicated his paper’s leader column to praising a reporter for his coverage of an 11-hour planning committee on a controversial incinerator.
Ian Mean, the outgoing editor of Gloucester daily The Citizen, devoted his column to praising journalist Mike Wilkinson for his coverage of the epic debate on plans to build a waste incinerator at Javelin Park.
Mike provided live Twitter updates during the 11-hour debate, filmed a series of video interviews on his mobile and provided in-depth analysis for the paper after Gloucestershire County Council turned the plans down.
Ian has been appointed to a new role as content director role overseeing Local World’s Gloucestershire, Bristol and Somerset titles and is being replaced in the editor’s chair by Citizen assistant editor Jenny Eastwood.In his leader column, he wrote: “Thanks to Mike. He is the very epitome of what a Citizen reporter must be in these days of 24-hour news coverage.
“Today’s reporter needs to be a multi-skilled professional with passion who is ready to use Twitter and the internet as well as video, pictures and traditional print stories. This is a new age of journalism.
“Nothing has changed in the skills. You still need to investigate and dig out those stories and report just as accurately. But now you have to do it through all manner of social media, online and in print.
“As a result, The Citizen is now read in print and online by more people than ever before. So much for the gloom merchants who talk down local newspapers.
“Here at The Citizen, we are a million miles away from arguments of the Leveson debate and press regulation.
“Nothing has changed here since we started in 1876. Our aim is to cover important stories like the incinerator well, just as Mike Wilkinson did.”
Mike, who previously worked at the Wiltshire Times, was also the first journalist to break the story about a new six-bedroom ‘mansion’ for mum-of-11 Heather Frost, who hit national headline for several days.