WAN-IFRA

A publication of the World Editors Forum

Date

Sun - 21.01.2018


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It was 1978, and as a 22-year-old research manager I was despatched to meet the formidable Editor of The Scotsman for the first time. Having squirmed in my seat as I explained what I vaguely understood about the latest readership figures, and detecting a friendly response, I asked the great man: “What is it like to run Scotland’s national newspaper?”

“Run a newspaper?” he boomed. “I run a COUNTRY!”

I’ve found myself recounting this story on various occasions recently, to an editor of a major national daily, and the owner of a group of local weeklies, among others. All of these conversations shared a common theme: namely the role of the editor in the modern world. And they all came to a different version of the same conclusion: that the role of the editor was diminishing.

When Eric MacKay was appointed, 155 years after The Scotsman’s launch he was its thirteenth editor, and held the job for 14 years. In the 27 years since he retired, there have been a further thirteen. Few of these later incumbents lasted more than two years in the job.

In the UK the spotlight has recently focussed on the role and regulation of the press, primarily the national tabloids, but despite government assurances to the contrary, a widespread fear is that the consequence of the various enquiries now reaching conclusion will be greater regulation, with further limitations on news-gathering and story telling.

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Guest

Date

2012-10-16 11:22

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This is a guest post by Gill Moodie, a South African journalist who covers the media. She blogs at Grubstreet.co.za and writes weekly media columns and stories for Bizcommunity, and Wits University’s Journalism.co.za.

There is a lot of courageous, excellent investigative work going on in African countries.

In South Africa, investigative teams focus on busting political corruption whereas much of the in-depth investigative work going on in countries such as Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and Uganda is about social issues and related problems.

“There’s a tendency to see investigative journalism in South Africa as the journalistic equivalent of a private investigation – getting inside information and getting leaks,” said Derek Luyt of the Public Service Accountability Monitor, who has worked with investigative journalists across the continent.

“There’s also a move towards data journalism [in SA], but we needn’t be so precious about defining investigative journalism and [making it only about] busting corruption. If you take a slightly broader view, then Africa is chock-a-block with brilliant investigative journalism.”

Author

Guest

Date

2012-06-13 11:49

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The World Editors Forum is the organization within the World Association of Newspapers devoted to newspaper editors worldwide. The Editors Weblog (www.editorsweblog.org), launched in January 2004, is a WEF initiative designed to facilitate the diffusion of information relevant to newspapers and their editors.


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