Johnston Press group editor joins BBC as senior broadcast journalist

Editor of the weekly Banbury Guardian has revealed he will be leaving less than a month after taking on an expanded role to join the BBC.

Jason Gibbins will become a senior broadcast journalist within the BBC News Online team in Birmingham after 22 years in the regional press and 12 years as an editor.

He was editor at the Daventry Express from 2003 and then at the Banbury Guardian from 2007 to the present day.

A restructure last month saw Gibbins, after eight years in the job, take on the additional editorships of the Bucks Herald, Bucks Advertiser, Hemel Hempstead Gazette and the Buckingham & Winslow Advertiser.

He said: “While the timing of my departure is not ideal, I'd like to stress it is not related to the recent changes to my portfolio of titles.

“The opportunity to join the BBC came very shortly after I had agreed to edit those titles and, at this stage of my career, I simply believe it is too good an opportunity to turn down.”

The restructure by Banbury Guardian’s publisher Johnston Press is part of the ‘Newsroom of the Future’ scheme which started in the North Midlands and South Yorkshire and on to the South Midlands.

Mr Gibbins said: “Our Newsroom of the Future project, shaped by journalists in a pilot last year and currently rolling our across the business, is a new way of working which equips us to cope with the demands of reporting in a digital age.

“The basic principles include ensuring reporters in newsrooms with shared geographical interests are not duplicating work and that news reporters can focus on breaking / in-depth news while a shared hub of reporters manages community news and user-generated content for a wider variety of titles.”

Johnston Press has divided titles into four geographic districts, each with an allocated editor that reports back to group editor David Summers, who also edits the Northampton Chronicle & Echo.

Journalists are working across multiple titles within certain areas.

Mr Gibbins said: “I have already seen some of the benefits the project can bring to newsrooms and had the opportunity with the BBC not arisen I would have been happy to support its continued development.”

He will continue in his role until a replacement has been found.

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