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Farming editor steps down after 40 years with weekly

Brian DonaldsonAn agricultural journalist has stepped down from full-time work after 40 years with the same weekly newspaper.

Brian Donaldson, left, has left his role as farming editor with the Impartial Reporter, based in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland.

Brian began his career at the Reporter straight from school in 1976, after a school careers officer suggested he apply for a compositor job at the paper.

Three weeks into the position, he was a offered a reporting role by then-editor Mervyn Dane, who died last year aged 87.

Said Brian: “The paper started out as a champion for the local farmer, and it is great to see that that aspect of it is still continuing to this day.

“As a journalist there is a unique trust between you and the person you are talking to. Virtually everyone I have spoken to over the years has been welcoming and genuinely open and honest.”

In his semi-retirement, Brian will still maintain links with the newspaper, under a more flexible working arrangement.

During his career he has covered events including the Remembrance Day bombing in 1987, which killed 11 people in Enniskillen.

Brian added: “The nature of journalism is that you always appear to be able to do your job. It is only when the story appears in the paper, or you have completed your work, that reality sinks in.

“And that week, the enormity of what had happened really didn’t sink in with me until the paper had gone out.”

He concluded: “It’s been a great experience working for the Impartial. One of the best experiences has been working with the staff themselves. I have worked with some of the best staff of any newspaper.”