COLUMN: A fond farewell from me

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It’s time for me to say goodbye.

After more than three years at the Boston Standard, I’m leaving newspapers for a fresh challenge.

While here, I’ve been proud to help the paper mark its centenary and to be part of the team that upset the odds to be crowned Johnston Press Newspaper of the Year. We’ve strived hard to make sure the traditional print copy – treasured and loved by us all – is backed up with as good an online offering as possible and, as part of that drive, it’s been a pleasure to interact with many of you on social media. Yes, even those having a moan on Facebook.

The last few years have certainly had their fair share of memorable tales. Sadly those have included six murder/manslaughter cases and too many serious road collisions. I’ve also covered the immigration protest and inquiry - at which I gave evidence – three interviews with Nigel Farage, the hugely significant Quadrant plans and, biggest of all, the flood.

That night saw us lose our office to waist-high waters. With news to report well into the night, my living room became ‘our office’. It was a surreal experience and, although not nice to report on, the coverage online and in the subsequent print edition was probably my proudest moment as a journalist.

I’ve also been proud to play a part in this newspaper’s hospital campaign. Many told us we were premature to mount a fight to save services, but sometimes you have to take a stand on something you feel passionately about. The subsequent revelation that a ward at the Pilgrim was shut with no public consultation or knowledge for 14 months only served to boost our resolve. The campaign goes on and it’s important we don’t let the powers that be decide our hospital’s future behind closed doors.

I hope I’ve at least gone out in a strong fashion with my last newspaper front page this week, an attempt to hold those in power – namely the slippery Ministry of Justice – to account.

I’ve often thought the things I’ve seen and heard in a newsroom would be worthy fodder for a sitcom. The job puts you working alongside and in contact with some great characters. It’s hard work but it’s been a privilege and I shall miss it.