Local journalism needs to be trusted more than ever, says departing editor

An editor who bowed out of local journalism after 26 years says he believes much of the change he has witnessed has been for the better.

Brad Jones, editor in chief of the Ipswich Star and East Anglian Daily Times, wrote a farewell piece to readers as he brough the curtain down on his time in East Anglian local journalism, a career which began in 1996.

Brad wrote: “As I move on, 26 years later, it is certainly a moment of reflection — but not one which longs for the old days, more about how much things have changed, much of it for the better.

“This has been a brilliant industry to work in. The fun, the excitement, the thrill of breaking a story, the feeling of making a difference, the opportunities it gives people.

“While the industry has changed dramatically, all those things have not.”

Reflecting on his time in the editor’s chair at the Ipswich Star, Brad wrote: “It’s been the biggest learning experience of my life, a massive privilege and responsibility. And I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved in that time.

“The EADT and Ipswich Star now have more readers across all platforms than at any time in their history. This month, we are on course to break our digital audience records again.

“The majority of our readers are online, and while further building a loyal, digital audience is clearly our future, we remain extremely proud of our printed newspapers, which are performing well compared to the rest of the industry.

“Technology has dramatically changed what we do, everyone knows that. It’s never been easier to access content, and everyone can now be a publisher. Social media means we are bombarded with information, public discourse is polluted with opinions masquerading as facts.

“So it’s vitally important for our brands to be trusted sources of information, and to deliver public interest journalism. We have worked hard to do that, taking our responsibility of being a trusted news provider seriously. And if we ever get it wrong, we’re always honest about it.”

You can read Brad’s full piece on the Ipswich Star website here

  • In 2022, Behind Local News aims to celebrate local journalism in all its forms through our 365 Acts of Local Journalism Project. Lets us know what you think should be included. You can email us here or contact us via Twitter on BehindLocalNews or on Facebook here.

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