“Just sit down, I’ll make a nice cup of tea and everything will be all right.”
Just the sort of thing an aunt would say, but it became the signature expression of Jeni Bateman when there was a crisis.
died suddenly, aged 41, and she was honoured at a funeral on 16 April
in south-east London, followed by a wake in a pub in Tooley Street, a
stone’s throw from her flat.
Jeni always made a cup of tea, but
when there was a production crisis, or even just a deadline panic, she
just got on with it and sorted the problem. Dozens of people who had
the honour of working with her at Incisive Media, EuroMoney, and the
other places she worked over the past two decades will testify to her
skills as a highly accomplished sub and unflappable production editor.
Incisive Media, we first came across the expression on 27 January,
1995, as we were about to go to press on the launch issue of Investment
Week. The systems had crashed, we were only hours from deadline, there
were many pages to pass, and for chief executive Tim Weller, who had
invested his life savings to start the business, it was real pressure.
But Jeni – Jen to her countless friends and col-leagues – rolled up her
sleeves with the other members of the production team and got the paper
out. A decade later we still laughed about the upside-down photo in the
first issue. In her selfless way she claimed “credit” – sorry, Jen, it
was definitely my fault. She played an integral part in building
Investment Week into the title it is today.
As Tim said in a
message to Incisive’s staff announcing her death: “Jeni was one of the
original members of the Investment Week team and a truly valued member
of the production department. She was a warm, kind and giving
individual and a tremendous asset to the business. This news has come
as a great shock to me and all those who worked with her and loved her.
She will be greatly missed. My thoughts are with her partner and her
After leaving Incisive to go freelance, Jen worried
about getting regular work. She needn’t have – she was always in demand
and was a stalwart of the overnight shifts at EuroWeek.
worked with Jeni is to have worked with a real friend. She was one of
the kindest and most supportive people anyone could meet. She gave
valued advice and help to many of the people with whom she worked, and
her sense of justice and equality was legendary.
publisher, Jeni highlighted the horrendous levels of pay given to the
contract cleaners and brought about a improvement in their conditions.
This was typical of Jeni and something she brought into her personal
life as well as her work life.
David Bowie’s Heroes was one of the pieces of music played at Jeni’s funeral.
Jeni was a heroine to all who knew her.
Lawrence Gosling, Incisive Media