Richard Parsons, left, was among those responsible for setting up News Associates, which has centres in Wimbledon and Manchester, in 2005.
Richard began work as a 16-year-old on the now-defunct Hayes News in Middlesex and went on to work at Southall, Ealing, Watford, Kingston and Chertsey in various capacities.
His first editorship was in 1987 at the Buckinghamshire Advertiser in Chalfont St Peter before switching within the then Middlesex County Press group to the Uxbridge Gazette and Leader two years later.
Richard remained there until 2002 when he took redundancy.
He was then involved in starting up a page production company and partnering with Sportsbeat news agency, for whom his younger son, David, was already a reporter. Some of that page production work still exists today as part of Sportbeat’s portfolio.
The firm launched its journalism training arm under the title of News Associates and was accepted by the NCTJ as an accredited centre, taking on its first students in March 2006.
Richard has also worked for the NCTJ as an exam-setter, marker and moderator over the last nine years and has sat on some of its committees.
He said: “I’ve been incredibly lucky to have worked for so long in a job that has never ceased to grip me.
“I know of so many friends and contemporaries in other fields of work who could not wait to retire from their chosen professions.
“My experience in the industry helped me no end when I switched to journalism lecturing, but it’s not as straightforward as some people might think.
“Certainly, with the pace of change in the industry, it is a challenge to stay relevant and topical with what we are telling those seeking to break into the industry.”
Among the gifts at his retirement party was a bottle of wine from the year of his birth and tickets to watch Dutch football club Ajax play in Amsterdam.