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Regional daily deputy steps up to editor’s chair at sister weeklies

Samantha HarmanThe deputy editor of a regional daily has been promoted to take charge of four of its weekly sister titles.

Samantha Harman, left, has been appointed group editor for Newsquest Berkshire and Buckinghamshire, which will see her oversee the Bracknell News, for which she has previously worked on a freelance basis, as well as the Reading Chronicle, Bucks Free Press and Slough Observer.

She has worked at the Dorset Echo for the past five-and-a-half years, and has served as its deputy editor since September 2015.

Samantha replaces Dave King, now editor of Rotary magazine, who served as Newsquest Berkshire editor-in-chief for nine months from March last year.

She is the fourth editor-in-chief since Newsquest purchased the Berkshire titles in the spring of 2015, following in the footsteps of Lesley Potter, Tim Cole and Dave.

Her new role also encompasses the Bucks Free Press, which was previously grouped with Newsquest’s North London titles.

Said Samantha: “This is a fantastic opportunity and I can’t wait to get stuck in. I am looking forward to working with the talented teams at Newsquest Berkshire and Buckinghamshire as we drive digital growth, produce quality print products and continually strive for excellence.

“We aim to be the best source of local news, the number one stop for everything Berkshire and Buckinghamshire; campaigning titles at the heart of their local communities.”

Samantha, who takes up her new role on Monday 6 March, began her journalism career at BBC Radio Kent, where she worked as a reporter between June 2010 and July 2011.

After two months freelancing in Bracknell, she joined the Echo as a trainee in October 2011 and worked her way up to become a senior and chief reporter before taking the deputy editor’s job.

During her time with the company, Samantha has been named Newsquest Journalist of the Year, Dorset Journalist of the Year and has been shortlisted for a number of other awards including the Society of Editors Young Journalist of the Year and the EDF Media Awards.

Newsquest Buckinghamshire and Berkshire managing director Chris Moore said: “Samantha was an excellent candidate for this role and brings with her the skills, experience and ideas to lead these titles through an exciting period of growth and innovation.”


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  • February 16, 2017 at 8:28 am

    You know you’re getting old when ‘editors’ get younger and their experience is but a few years

    We can only wish her good luck

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  • February 16, 2017 at 11:36 am

    I swear local journalism is turning into Logan’s Run.

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  • February 16, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    Younger editors
    Fewer staff
    More titles

    My how the world of regional journalism editorship has changed in a few short years

    The next step will be…..what?

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  • February 16, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    Young editors who understand modern journalism instead of dinosaurs who can’t comprehend that the world has changed since the “good old days”. What a radical idea.

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  • February 16, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    Could be zenithar, then again with costs uppermost in publishers minds it could just be the cheaper easier option

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  • February 17, 2017 at 8:25 am

    Ah, the ‘old dinosaurs’ argument. You mean those probably award-winning people who were the backbone of arguably the greatest regional press operation in the world?

    They often talked about dinosaurs when they shook up our old newsroom. A few of the dinosaurs couldn’t get with the programme, said programme included installing three flat screen TVs on the wall and changing the plaque on the newsroom door to ‘multimedia newsroom’.

    Two of those TVs broke after six months and the third just used to show cricket.

    Let’s be honest here, and this is no judgment on the person in the story as she may very well be an outstanding operator, but by and large, the management are getting younger because so many people have left and there’s quite literally nobody left to do it.

    Don’t try and kid a kidder.

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  • February 17, 2017 at 10:45 am

    For dinosaurs maybe read, experienced. Worldly-wise. A communicator who can deal with punters face to face.
    Yes, I know it’s pointless being a luddite in today’s techno-world , but the ability to understand the principles of regional journalism as well as balancing the 24/7 news operation that mismanagement crave seem nigh impossible.
    Of course, the younger types who have slid up the greasy pole of promotion are more likely to say ‘yes’ to their lords and masters bidding. And that’s a scary thought.

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  • February 17, 2017 at 11:54 am

    The thing is though, newspapers aren’t a techno world. My nan’s King Charles Spaniel knows more about SEO and analytics than your average ‘multimedia content editor’.

    Serious question, when was the last time anyone from newspapers – at any level – was asked to speak at a conference on anything remotely connected to the internet or social media?

    You go to these things and you see Facebook, Google, even the likes of Buzzfeed perhaps, but never anyone from the ‘big three’ newspaper companies, because at that level those jobs are populated by the editors’ mates who were shifted there during the last round of cuts (which is totally understandable).

    If the likes of TM and Newsquest had turned around in 2008 and paid out to whack to bring in experience from Yahoo or somewhere to shape their strategy or something I’d have said fair enough, stay on the train or get off, but they didn’t, they slapped a few Twitter feeds together and called it progress.

    The whole industry reminds me of the canteen scene in 1984. ‘So brother, I see our ABC figures are down but we have 1,000 new Facebook likes on our white dog poo renaissance story’ ‘indeed brother, that is good news!’

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