Regional newspaper journalists find there's life after editing: 'It’s a little bit like having a strait-jacket taken off'

Is it me or are ex-editors getting younger these days?

A feature in the latest edition of In Publishing by Steve Dyson looks at what six former regional newspaper editors are doing with their lives now.

They include the likes of former Whitby Gazette editor Jon Stokoe, 41, former Coventry Telegraph editor Darren Parkin, 43, and former West Briton editor Richard Best.

At one level the article is somewhat depressing. It seems that successful editors are often made redundant in the prime of their careers for no reason other than short-sighted cost-cutting.

But at another level the piece is uplifting and inspiring because all six seem to have made successes of themselves using the skills they honed as journalists.

Parkin says of his new life: "It’s a little bit like having a strait-jacket taken off without realising you were wearing one. Running your own business gives you so much freedom and a life you have complete control over. You don’t have to answer to people further up the chain of command who you may not agree with.

“I took a weird pleasure from the pressure of carrying the weight of a huge decision on my shoulders. But I don’t miss the hours. I’d work fourteen hour days, seven days a week, and even sleep in the office at times, thinking I was the best editor in the world. Turns out I wasn’t.

“And I don’t miss some of the silly management politics either – especially strategic back-stabbing. I hated watching people jostling for the crown of champion arse-kisser round the boardroom table. For goodness sake, just focus on doing what’s right for the business, not what’s going to get you invited to the boss’s golf club. Show some class, you know?”

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