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Training chief and former editor leaves regional press after 46 years

JP John Wilsonjournalism training chief and former editor has bowed out of the regional press industry after 46 years.

John Wilson, left, has retired after 13 years working in learning and development for Johnston Press and its successor JPIMedia, with the last four having been spent as the company’s editorial and learning development manager.

In recent years John, who has also served on the company’s editorial board, has helped develop a wide range of e-learning courses in addition to traditional training and also led the team which trained the i’s staff when they joined JP three years ago.

During his tenure, the company’s trainees recorded a series of industry-leading successes in the National Qualification In Journalism exams.

Prior to joining the learning and development team, he was editor-in-chief of the Dewsbury Reporter Series for seven years, leading it to the title of Yorkshire Weekly Newspaper of the Year.

Life-long Methodist John, a local preacher for 25 years, is now set to take up a part-time role with the Methodist Church in the Calderdale Circuit, which will see him work with historic chapels in that area of West Yorkshire.

He told HTFP: “I have been privileged to have a 46-year career but the rapid rate of change in the industry and the company means that it is the right time to call it a day. I will be 64 in a few weeks and I think it’s time to hand the baton on to someone else.

“I have been lucky enough to edit my hometown paper and to spend some priceless years training the next generation – I will retire with a lot of great memories.

“In the end the greatest pleasure has been working with wonderful people on some great titles and I have forged friendships that will last forever.

“However, it’s time to move on and I am looking forward to a different sort of job with the Methodist Church.”

John’s career began on the Reporter Series after leaving school in 1973.

He went on to work for the Yorkshire Evening Post, Yorkshire Post, Huddersfield Examiner and Halifax Courier, while he also had a spell as a press officer with West Yorkshire Fire Service.

As well as leading editorial training for JP and JPIMedia, John has also been a member of the NCTJ’s journalism board for more than 10 years.

In addition to his church work, he is also set to undertake freelance writing and training work, and plans to continue helping the media department at the University of Huddersfield where he has had links for several years.

John, who is married with a son and a daughter, also aims to spend even more time watching his beloved Huddersfield Town play.


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  • June 28, 2019 at 8:46 am

    Sad to say, but being trained by John was one of the few truly excellent and memorable aspects of working for the otherwise dire Johnston Press. An outstanding communicator and a true gentleman.

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  • June 28, 2019 at 9:22 am

    Farewell to a true gentleman/journalist of the old school – and I mean that in the best possible way. Had the pleasure of knowing John for more than 30 years and always admired his calmness, professionalism and passion for the titles he edited.
    Too many good journalists leaving the industry.
    All the best John, and good luck to your beloved Terriers next season.

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  • June 28, 2019 at 10:14 am

    All the very best John, you are a lovely man and I have many fond memories or working with you at Leeds

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  • June 28, 2019 at 10:34 am

    One of nature’s gentlemen and a born communicator.
    Take a look at John’s twitter feed to see how people regard him.

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  • June 28, 2019 at 10:59 am

    John is one of the good guys. Fantastic trainer, really engaging, and always enjoyed his courses. All the best John.

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  • June 28, 2019 at 12:56 pm

    I’m looking at launch opportunities if you fancy another stint on the front line, old friend! If not (and I presume not) then all the very best John. Truly one of the good guys. DL

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  • June 28, 2019 at 1:10 pm

    One of the nicest and most knowledgeable guys you could ever meet. All the best, John.

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