A former editorial chief has urged fiftysomething ex-journalists to spend time in modern newsrooms – claiming they are spectacles to be “marvelled” at.
Alan Geere, left, a former editor of the Essex Chronicle and editorial director of Northcliffe South East, has jokingly called for those no longer involved in “front line” journalism to undertake what he described as the equivalent of National Service by visiting a regional newspaper office in 2017.
In a piece about his experience for the latest edition of Production Journal, he wrote that watching the “daily dramas unfold first hand under the all-seeing eye of the metrics counter reminds me how far journalism has come”.
Alan described an office where print is “by no means a poor relation”, but where a league table of web story hits is “incessant and relentless and impossible not keep glancing at”.
Wrote Alan: “Rather like they used to say that all young people should do National Service I think all journalists over 50 – especially those not involved in front-line newspaper journalism – should go and spend some time in a thoroughly modern newsroom like this.
“They will find committed, capable people confidently handling all the channels of delivery with a dexterity that can only be marvelled at.
“Much has changed. All those blinking screens telling you what’s hot and what’s not are a far cry from the ‘I know what my readers like’ finger in the wind editor of not that long ago.
“But much is the same too. The excitement when a big story breaks, the leadership needed to steer it in the right direction and the boots on ground skills of talking to people and delivering what you find out quickly and succinctly.”