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Daily editor stands down after six years in wake of publisher’s takeover

David Powles 2022The editor of a regional daily has announced he is standing down after six years in the wake of its publisher’s takeover.

Dave Powles, pictured, is leaving the Eastern Daily Press, months after its publishing company Archant was bought by Newsquest.

The role of EDP editor is once again being combined with that of editor of the Norwich Evening News, with Richard Porritt, editor of the Evening News, becoming editor of both titles.

A Newsquest spokesman said: “After six years Dave Powles will leave his role as Editor of the Eastern Daily Press and will be replaced by Richard Porritt who takes up a new position of Regional Editor of Norfolk covering principally the Eastern Daily Press and Norwich Evening News.

“We wish David all the best for the future and congratulate Richard on his new appointment.”

Dave is the latest in a growing line of senior editorial figures who have left since the Newsquest takeover, headed by editorial director Jeremy Clifford and director of content development Laura Adams.

Other editors who have left include Brad Jones (East Anglian Daily Times), John Elworthy (Cambs Times), Andy Cooper (Devon Life) and Tim Williams, managing editor of the EDP and NEN.

Dave leaves after 23 years in the industry, 16 of which have been spent in various roles at the two Norfolk titles.

He announced his departure in his EDP column, saying it was “time to hand over to a new custodian” of the paper.

He wrote: “When I took over as editor of the Eastern Daily Press six years ago I was told the most important thing to remember was that I was simply the ‘custodian’ of the title until it’s time to hand over the responsibility to someone else.

“Ultimately, I took that to mean that one should never lose sight of the fact that, as editor, you are never bigger than the paper you represent. And therefore your decisions should always be based on what you believe is right for the brand and ultimately the area it covers and people it serves.

“And so it has come to the time in which I prepared to hand that responsibility over to someone else and therefore this will be my last column as editor of the EDP, ahead of my departure later this week.

“I feel incredibly honoured, humble and proud to have been given the rare opportunity to edit this newspaper and its website. After a careers talk at 16 opened my eyes to journalism, this is the only job I’ve wanted to do. I realise that few are so lucky to do their ideal job and for that opportunity I am incredibly grateful.

“In many ways it’s been an incredibly strange time to be editor of this newspaper. People’s habits have changed and the industry is at a crossroads, still wondering which way to turn.

“My team and I have been faced with the challenge of trying to keep the newspaper as relevant and impactful as possible, whilst also writing for an ever-growing digital audience.

“After 23 years in the industry I still believe local journalism matters. Good local journalism holds people to account, makes people aware of decisions being made that will affect them and fights people’s battles.

“Good local journalism cares about the people it is written for. There can’t be many working in regional media who do so to get rich and most that I’ve come across simply want to represent the area they care about. ”

“During my 16 years at the EDP and previously the Norwich Evening News, I feel so lucky to have worked with some exceptional journalists in editorial and many incredibly talented people across the company. They know who they are, because I’ve told them.

“And every day I see examples of outstanding story-telling that makes a real difference to Norfolk and Waveney and has made me so proud to work here.

“These include our long-running work on mental health, our campaign for a new hospice for Norfolk, the many examples of highlighting people’s injustices – and even the introduction of Norfolk Day!

“I am incredibly sad to be leaving, but feel fortunate enough to have worked in one of the best jobs out there, with lots of talented people inside and outside of the newsroom and in such a wonderful county.”