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Journalist leaves industry after 45 years – and 29 different newspapers

Barrie FarnsworthA journalist has left the regional press industry after working for a total of 29 different newspapers during his 45-year career.

Barrie Farnsworth, left, has challenged others to match or beat the number of titles he served on over the course of his working life – which included stints editing titles in Worksop, Scunthorpe and Lincoln.

His time in journalism has seen him work on titles across the Midlands, Lincolnshire and Sheffield, most recently on a freelance basis at the Tamworth Herald.

Of his record of having worked for 29 different papers, Barrie said: “I would love to hear from anyone who can match or beat that.”

He told HTFP: “I have seen a lot of change over the past 45 years – but I have simply loved being a journalist. I think the only newsroom job I have not had is Sports Editor – and despite loving my cricket rugby and football, I have no regrets about that.

“I have edited some great teams at Worksop, Scunthorpe and Lincoln – and I have also worked for some great editors, especially the late Peter Moore, the long-standing editor of the Grimsby Telegraph, where I enjoyed my role as production editor (and that strange title of Tera super-user too!), and Gary Phelps, who has been a fine editor at the Tamworth Herald for many years.

“I have also been lucky enough to have enjoyed what, with hindsight, was a golden period for journalists – although the last decade has been more painful for most.

“I fear for the future of local newspapers – and I sincerely believe that the Government should consider subsidising them sooner rather than later.”

Barrie’s last staff role was on the Derby Telegraph before being made redundant in 2009, since when he has worked as a freelance.

The full list of titles Barrie has worked for is as follows:

Derbyshire Times
Buxton Advertiser
Sheffield Morning Telegraph
Worksop Guardian
Scunthorpe Star
Scunthorpe Extra
Lincoln Standard
Horncastle Standard
Boston Standard
Skegness Standard
Gainsborough News
Sleaford Standard
Grimsby Telegraph
Grimsby Target
Scunthorpe Telegraph
Scunthorpe Target
Derby Telegraph
Stoke Sentinel
Leek Post
Uttoxeter Advertiser
Tamworth Herald
Lichfield Mercury
Walsall Advertiser
Great Barr Observer
Sutton Observer
Leicester Mercury
Nottingham Post
Ashbourne Telegraph
Nuneaton News

6 comments

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  • April 12, 2018 at 5:55 pm
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    Truly a privilege to have worked with you and shared the odd beer with you, Bazza, and to benefit from your considerable wit and wisdom, and to witness your supreme editing talents and your unflappable, positive outlook under the severest of pressure.
    Any time you fancy another night out in Brigg, count me in!

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  • April 12, 2018 at 8:56 pm
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    CONGRATULATIONS to Barrie Farnsworth for working on so many newspapers in his long, happy career.
    However, I think I can top his tally, thanks largely to working for two large groups.
    While with TRN in London, I was working for between 12 and 15 daily newspapers simultaneously. And when I moved to Cornwall for the ‘quiet life’ – some hope! – I found myself editor of no fewer than ten titles.
    I’ve also worked for three international agencies, thus ensuring that my byline appeared in dozens more newspapers around the world.
    Below is the list of papers/agencies I actually worked for as a staff journalist or freelance.
    The second list is of newspapers my byline appeared in, with clippings to prove it. There must be many more I never heard about.
    In spite of this long list, I know I’m not a world-beater in this regard.
    My old pal Ron Laytner, the well-known international freelance, has written for more than 300 titles.
    His amazing story is told in Pictures to Die For, available on Amazon.
    Yours etc
    John Marquis

    Northampton Chronicle and Echo
    Northants Mercury and Herald
    Northampton Town and County Independent
    Nottingham Evening Post
    Nottingham Guardian Journal
    Nassau Guardian (Bahamas)
    Sunday Guardian (short-lived)
    The Tribune (Bahamas)
    Reuters
    Copley News Service
    Gemini News Service
    Canadian Press
    Evening Echo, Hemel Hempstead
    Evening Post, Hemel Hempstead
    Slough Evening Mail
    Reading Evening Post
    Blackburn Evening Telegraph
    Burnley Evening Star
    Middlesbrough Evening Gazette
    Newcastle Evening Chronicle
    The Journal, Newcastle
    The Scotsman
    Edinburgh Evening News
    Aberdeen Evening Express
    Press and Journal, Aberdeen
    Belfast Telegraph
    Western Mail
    South Wales Echo
    Evening Post-Echo, Hemel Hempstead
    Business Digest
    Free Media Digest
    Falmouth Packet
    Penryn Packet
    St Ives Packet
    Helston Packet
    Penzance Packet
    St Austell Packet
    Redruth Packet
    Camborne Packet
    Truro Packet
    Newquay Packet
    Cornwall Courier

    As an agency freelance, my byline has appeared in:

    Washington Post, USA
    Washington Evening Star, USA
    Philadelphia Bulletin, USA
    San Diego Union, USA
    Sacramento Bee, USA
    Torrance Daily Breeze, USA
    Toledo Blade, USA
    Miami Herald, USA
    Dallas Morning News, USA
    The Vancouver Sun, Canada
    Gibraltar Chronicle
    Times of Malta
    Sarawak Journal
    Barbados Advocate
    Guyana Graphic
    Daily Gleaner, Jamaica
    The Voice, St Lucia
    New Zealand Herald
    Perth Independent, Australia
    Meriden Express, Australia
    Leicester Illustrated Chronicle
    Press Association Features
    The Independent, London
    Evening Standard, London
    Boston Globe, USA

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  • April 12, 2018 at 10:22 pm
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    No excuses, but I missed two out – Ireland’s Saturday Night and the Sunday Sun at Newcastle. Plus, of course, all the old pink ‘uns and green ‘uns of yesteryear. Ah, such happy times…

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  • April 13, 2018 at 11:46 am
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    As impressive as both of these lists may be – and there is still a lot to be said for loyalty to one paper (where possible), I think we need a distinction here between writing stories that appear in numerous papers (or editions of) and actually physically being employed by them in the office rather than on a freelance or third-party basis.

    I think if it’s a case of the former then one might ask why Barry and John didn’t settle in one place – which is why I suspect the case is more the latter!

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  • April 14, 2018 at 1:12 pm
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    Very best wishes Basra! Appreciate all your learnings, lucid tongue-lashings of lesser mortals and ability to receive free wine deliveries despite having long-since binned the column. Here’s to a long and happy one.

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