This first appeared in the April edition of AdNews.
After nearly five years at the helm, friend and colleague Rosie Baker has fled the nest for GroupM, or as we joked at the time and her departing gift of a mock AdNews front page said, she left for ‘the dark side’.
Missing her and well wishes aside, there’s always a certain sadness when a good journalist you know leaves the club in pursuit of a PR or comms role; it’s that disheartening feeling in your gut of ‘another troop down’ or ‘one less in the club’.
Post university and just a year after my National Council for the Training of Journalist newspaper course in London (think blood, sweat, tears and that was just living in Hackney), many of the would-be shiny new journalists I studied with had already left local newspaper gigs for better paid jobs in PR – some even went straight into PR.
After all the hard work, training, understanding media law, local government structures and intense hand spasms while gaining the compulsory 100 words per minute shorthand, more than half were no longer journalists after two years.
Now, 10 years on and a quick look at the few I am still connected with on LinkedIn, aside from one freelance and one news editor, the others are comms managers, heads of marketing, a marketing consultant a copywriter, local MP and a solicitor.
So while the trend is nothing new, and I commend Rosie and know she will do a great job, it still gets me every time.
I’d also add that the best PR contacts I have are ex-journos.
However, having not been lured by the dark side – remotely – in my new role as editor, I am here to stay.
I’m looking forward to getting stuck into my new broader remit, which now stretches far beyond the website and newsletter I ran for the last three and half years.
While this April edition will largely look the same, over time I look forward to putting my own stamp on the magazine. I also want to hear from you about what you feel is missing, what you want, need and rely on us, as an industry magazine, for.
We have a unique, dedicated and hard-working editorial team at AdNews. This includes our impassioned media man and news editor Arvind Hickman and publishing and creative news hound turned digital editor Lindsay Bennett. We don’t get comfortable doing the same thing. We know that there are things we need to improve, create and do better and hope that you feel you can also approach us (firstname.lastname@example.org) to share your views as we move into this next chapter at AdNews. We also have a new recruit from within Yaffa Media, Josh McDonnell, who is hungry for the role and is keen to get stuck in.
Lastly, as you’ll see from the pics on the inside front cover of this edition, the AdNews Agency of the Year event was a great night. Thanks again to our supporters, judges and attendees and stay tuned for how we’ll be shaking up next year’s awards.