A much-travelled regional journalist is putting away his notebook after more than a quarter of century for a university PR role
Jack Mathieson has gone from writing rock music articles in a student newspaper – through news and sports reporting on several dailies and weeklies – to news desk duties on a provincial evening.
Now the man who used to indulge his passion for Berwick Rangers – the only English-based club in Scottish football – by making 300-mile round-trips to cover his team for the Berwickshire News is planning a ‘no hassle’ transfer.
He’s taking up a post as media and communications officer at Edinburgh Napier University after 26 years in the newspaper game.
Said Jack:: “I’ve had some great fun in the newspaper business but few regrets about moving on.
“The last few years were exceptionally tough as the industry adjusted to meet the challenges of the digital age against a backdrop of diminishing resources.
“I was ready for a change of environment and there are few places more interesting and stimulating to go to work to in the morning than a university. Seeing the facilities and the range of courses on offer makes me wish I was 18 again.”
His interest in the press began at Edinburgh University with the student newspaper. Apart from writing about rock music, he also supplied the Tweeddale Press Group with away match coverage on his Scottish football favourites.
“Possibly out of gratitude, Tweeddale Press offered me a job when I finished at university,” he added. “I think the reporting staff were thrilled to see a keen youngster stepping in and sparing them the dubious pleasures of long weekend trips to the likes of Arbroath, Brechin and Montrose.”
After a couple of years of mixing news and sport, Jack moved on to the Paisley Daily Express as a municipal reporter before spending six years at the Edinburgh Evening News – where he had spells as assistant news editor and chief reporter.
From 2000 to 2014, he worked with the Daily Record in Edinburgh prior to accepting a severance package in June.
“My biggest break was probably landing my current job at Edinburgh Napier University. In the current climate, nobody walks away from a job without at least a twinge of anxiety about what the future may hold,” he said.