Mark Conway has been appointed editor of award-winning Newsquest weekly The Impartial Reporter.
The change at the top of the Northern Ireland weekly that has been publishing for 193 years comes as one of its most highly esteemed colleagues, outgoing editor Sarah Saunderson, steps down after almost 25 years with the team.
Having initially worked as a freelance GAA correspondent for the family newspaper, Mark — who until his promotion to editor was Sarah Saunderson’s deputy — began full-time employment with The Impartial Reporter in 2001.
He says: “I was fortunate that former editor Denzil McDaniel and Joanna McVey (then Managing Director) gave me the opportunity in the first instance. I have tried to make the most of that opportunity since then and I am honoured and privileged to be given such a position in a newspaper which plays such a prominent role in our community. Denzil had a great ability to lead and teach as an editor and he has been extremely influential.”
He paid tribute to his predecessor: “I am really sorry to see Sarah go. We have had a really strong working relationship, especially over the last 10 years. The last four years as deputy to Sarah have been another great learning curve.
“In life there is always change, and it will be up to me to lead the team now as we adapt and move forward. The business is continually evolving, no more so than in the last five years. We are a multi-media business now. It is important to inform all our readers on all our platforms, and we will continue to do that.”
As well as the change at the top, this week The Impartial Reporter has launched a new look paper — and appointed its award-winning reporter Rodney Edwards as deputy editor.
“I am delighted that Rodney is now my deputy — he’s a journalist with a real flair and hunger for the business. Rodney will continue to be a top news reporter and take on more editorial responsibility.
“We have a really strong team and we are all looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead and are determined to ensure The Impartial Reporter continues to uphold its reputation as a trusted news source.
“The standards of the paper have always been about the pride of the product and the quality of the journalism and we intend to keep that to the forefront going forward.”
Donald Martin, editor in chief of Newsquest Scotland commented: “Sarah has been a fantastic editor and ambassador for the Impartial Reporter. Her professionalism, enthusiasm and commitment has been the driving force behind unrivalled coverage of the area. She leaves behind a brilliant newspaper and will certainly be a hard act to follow. We wish her every success on her new adventures.”
Donald concluded: “I am delighted that her successor comes from within and maintains the continuity important to the community. Deputy Editor Mark Conway will step up as Editor and his colleague Rodney Edwards will take over as Deputy Editor. Gareth Cauldwell will step up to Sports Editor.
“Together they will form a formidable team to continue delivering the finest journalism in print and online.”