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I am an experienced online journalist and political editor working for Trinity Mirror papers in the West Midlands and the North East, based in the Parliamentary Press Gallery at Westminster.

I understand how government, Parliament and political parties work. I am equally at home digging out stories from data, social media or interviews as I am covering major set-piece events or explaining how things work to readers.

I produce content which is shareable and promote my work on social media.

My experience with content management systems and knowledge of HTML allows me to include charts, embedded content from third parties and formatting in my work, to create content which encourages interaction and keeps readers on the page.

Contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (but please send press releases to my work email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as this is the email I monitor during working hours).

I've been catching up with David Higgerson's fine blog, which includes an interesting post about the news:rewired event in London on June 25, and his thoughts on a speech delivered by Marc Reeves, former editor of The Birmingham Post.

Marc argued, among other things, that journalists should be willing to boost their employer's turnover by passing on potential sales leads to the advertising department.

But, he laments:

"That artificial divide we created when we put the noisy people in a room marked ‘advertising' and the studious types in another labelled ‘editorial' was the biggest mistake newspapers and other media ever made.

"It allowed journalists to insulate themselves from the business they were in to the point of revelling in their detachment. I've worked with generations of hacks to whom the very idea of passing on a sales lead was regarded as a murderous betrayal of the memory of CP Scott."

He may be right. I'm not going to comment here on the divide between editorial and advertising departments, but reading both Marc and David's blogs did remind me of one of my personal bugbears, which is the divide between the debates taking place about the changing nature of the news industry and most of those who work in it.

Marc was a great editor of the Post and is doing great things at The Business Desk, but one thing he didn't do at the Post was to mention his ideas about journalists assisting the advertising department. At least, he never mentioned them to ordinary hacks like me.

David attends events like news:rewired in his role as head of multimedia for Trinity Mirror Regionals, but clearly the great mass of Trinity Mirror regional hacks can't start turning up en masse to these conferences on a regular basis, as they have other duties.

So how are we to contribute to the debate and how are we to know, to put it bluntly, what we are meant to be doing?

Well, we can follow people's blogs and maybe leave comments, or even write posts on our own blogs. But in reality, people do need a bit of a prod to get involved in a debate - an invitation. After all, I'm only assuming that my opinions are even sought.

It's also helpful, even for journalists, to give them some idea where they should be looking for information, and to tell them how they can best offer feedback.

(On that note, let me digress and try to make one thing clear, because I'm worried it will sound like I'm criticising David. I'm not - I mention him because he happens to the person who is responsible for the multimedia strategy of the company I work for. I'm pretty sure this divide exists throughout the industry, and it certainly existed at Trinity Mirror before David began his current job).

Let me try to make some constructive suggestions:

  • Why not point journalists towards blogs and other sources of information discussing changes in the industry, especially those with particular relevance to company they work in. Send them an e-mail.
  • Let them know how they can contribute. Do you run a blog and welcome comments from your colleagues? Don't assume they know that. (I'm talking here to anyone in a senior position in any media company).
  • What is your firm's multimedia strategy? Tell your colleagues.
  • Is there anything colleagues can do to help? Tell them what they can do.
  • Might it be worth setting up a private forum where people can discuss ideas? By forums I mean a place to speak but a forum as in message board might be a good way of doing it. That doesn't mean we should stop asking readers and anyone else willing to offer ideas for input, but there might be advantages to creating a mechanism where people can discuss things in private (ie, in the unlikely event I thought my own employer did things wrong, which I don't, I'd be wary of saying so here).

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About me

Jonathan Walker Political Editor of the Birmingham Post, Birmingham Mail, Sunday Mercury, Coventry Telegraph, Newcastle Journal, Newcastle Chronicle and Sunday Sun.

Contact me:

Email jonathan@walkerjon.com (but please send press releases to my work email which is
jon.walker@trinitymirror.com, as this is the email I monitor during working hours).

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