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Veteran journalist fires website warning as he bows out after 46 years

Jeremy LewisA veteran daily journalist has warned that newspaper websites may “never be loved” in the same way their print counterparts once were as he bows out after 46 years in the industry.

Jeremy Lewis, left, is leaving the Nottingham Post today after almost 37 years at the newspaper – during which time he worked on stories including the miners’ strike and the Kegworth air crash.

Positions he has held at the Post include chief reporter, opinion editor, features editor and editor of the newspaper’s sister magazine Nottinghamshire Today.

He has also written the Post’s leaders for most of the last 30 years.

Jeremy told HTFP: “I was fortunate to have worked through the last of the provincial industry’s prosperous years. In the [Nottingham Forest FC manager] Brian Clough era the Post, then a family-owned independent, sent its Forest reporter on European Cup away legs aboard the company jet.

“I can remember when news editors would eye up a cautious expenses claim and growl: ‘You’ll have to do better than that, sonny!’

“That’s all gone and it’s too late for whingeing. I’m a newspaperman, not a digital specialist. At 65, I struggle with my mobile phone, never mind website software.

“It’s the right time to go. I’m not sure if websites will ever be loved in the way that provincial dailies were once loved, but I hope everyone strives to make them authoritative and respected.”

Jeremy began his career in Kent, training on the now defunct Ashford Advertiser and then working as a senior reporter at the Kent Messenger Group at Ashford, Gravesend and Chatham.

He joined the Nottingham Post as chief reporter in 1981 after a brief spell on the Newark Advertiser, later joining the news subbing team in 1983 and working shifts on the Football Post.

Subsequent roles included opinion editor, deputy features editor and features editor – a position he held for ten years.

He has also served as a columnist, theatre critic and the paper’s restaurant reviewer Food Sleuth, and more recently returned to feature writing after his spell editing Nottinghamshire Today.

Jeremy added: “I’d lived the first 26 years of my life south of the Thames, so I thought I’d have a brief adventure in what I then believed to be the north of England.

“I was surprised not to hear the skirl of bagpipes in the distance, but I fell for Nottingham, and for the Post. I stayed and I’ve loved almost every minute.

“As a reporter or news sub I wrote or handled copy on stories as big as the miners’ strike and the Kegworth air crash. I then shifted towards features and other things. The variety of opportunities given me by editors such as Barrie Williams and Mike Sassi has helped keep me fresh.”

Jeremy will now be taking on a limited amount of freelance work, including restaurant reviews for the Post, but hopes to find more time for hill-walking and watercolours.

9 comments

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  • March 16, 2018 at 8:57 am
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    I don’t think anyone thinks websites will be loved the same way as a paper but it will be how people get their news

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  • March 16, 2018 at 10:21 am
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    What Desker says may well be true, but all the same, I thought it was a splendid epitaph to print and a way of life which has gone forever. Enjoy your ‘retirement’ Mr Lewis.

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  • March 16, 2018 at 10:22 am
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    All the best Jeremy. I agree that websites won’t feel as loved as print and I think the separation of print and digital at some Trinity Mirror titles has merit, but print is still the big revenue driver but it’s being run into the ground when with the right people in charge, they could become relevant again.

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  • March 16, 2018 at 10:31 am
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    I am not sure anyone “loved” provincial dailies… this sounds like the skewed perception of someone who worked for a provincial daily. People loved the papers no more than they would love their pop up toaster. But people did love the personalities behind the stories… and for that we thank Jeremy for his service.

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  • March 16, 2018 at 10:55 am
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    That it’s even necessary to point out that a provincial news website ought to be authoritative and respected tells you all you need to know about provincial news websites.
    And some of us do love our pop-up toasters, actually.

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  • March 16, 2018 at 11:10 am
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    Zee Zee. You may be right. But for many years they were a habit with loyal people and sold a fantastic amount of copies compared with today’s Daily Dribble. And talented guys like Jeremy, who knew their patch, were at the heart of them. Have a good retirement Jeremy, not many like you left in the kindergarten.

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  • March 16, 2018 at 4:16 pm
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    I get rather bored of those who say ‘Oh, I’m too old for all this technology business’. Rubbish. Stop being lazy. Get with the times instead of getting in the way. Old people? Pfft….

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  • March 16, 2018 at 8:39 pm
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    Local newspapers are destroying their own business models by putting stories free online before they appear in print, and then allowing social media pages to share them. So there’s no need, anymore, to buy the paper. Madness! We all know online advertising revenue is a fraction of what print used to generate. But if the content was kept exclusively to papers, and copyright was fiercely protected, then members of the public would have to go to those papers for their news or remain forever in the dark.

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  • March 19, 2018 at 1:46 pm
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    Spencer Tracy. Wasn’t he an actor from the golden oldies who used to play Dicks? I mean, of course, private detectives.

    Just asking.

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