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Journalist bows out after 38 years on patch

Editors past and present have praised the work of a “superb” reporter who is retiring after serving the same community for four decades.

Colleagues, family and friends gathered to present Jo Barber with a front page celebrating 38 years with The Gloucester Citizen in Stroud and latterly Stroud Life.

A former Stroud High School pupil, Jo carried out her apprenticeship with the Stroud News and Journal from 1972 to 1975 before making what she called “a huge career move” less than 50 yards around the corner to The Citizen, then based in Gloucester Street.

She remained with The Citizen for 38-and-a-half years and was key member of staff who launched Stroud Life in 2008.

Said Jo: “It’s been a real privilege to share the triumphs and tragedies of the Stroud community over so many years.”

Jo said she always tried to represent what people told her “honestly, and fairly in relation to balancing their perspective on a story with that of others who’ve also had a take on the same issue.”

She added: “I hope that is what led to so many readers trusting me time and time again with their information.”

Citizen Editor Jenny Eastwood said: “Jo has been the journalist with her finger on the pulse of Stroud for decades and we are very sad to see her leave. We wish her well in her new roles.”

Former Stroud Life Editor Jason Chare said: “With more than 40 years in newspapers under her belt Jo has been, perhaps, the most widely respected and admired journalist in the Stroud valleys.”

Stroud MP Neil Carmichael was also among those who paid tribute to her work.

He said: “Jo will be greatly missed as a very effective reporter with a real understanding of the Valleys and Vale, and all of its issues and people.

“I hope we will continue to benefit from her contributions in other ways.”

Former Stroud Labour MP and prospective Labour Parliamentary candidate David Drew agreed.

“She was a superb journalist because she knew her patch and cared for the people in it,” he said.

Jo is clerk to Minchinhampton and Standish parish councils and a mum to two grown up daughters Holly and Grace

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