Monday, December 03, 2007

It was 20 years ago today...

Can't let it pass without comment - I've worked for the same media company - emap - for 20 years. It's official.
I passed this landmark on Sunday, December 2. This marked 20 years since I've been on the official payroll.
Actually, I started a little earlier on my training course.

20 years ago I was a trainee local newspaper journalist. We used type-writers. We made carbon copies of everything we typed. We faxed in copy from field offices. We corrected by XXXXXXing out or ripping out and throwing away. We joined unions. We drank together. We printed in the same building we wrote. We owned the printing press. We had a huge physical archive - two librarians.

We had defined roles. Photographers frowned if we took a snap. We took those pics in black and white. We called into the office from payphones. We did research by looking in books or ringing and asking a human being - usually one as fallable as we were. We answered all the questions we raised.

We subbed using emms and picas. We had 'headline counts'. We sized (and cropped) pictures with mystical wheels. We layed out pages on paper. We printed all the news that fit.
We edited. We controlled the horizontal, we controlled the vertical...

20 years ago today.

Imagine 20 years ahead.

The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?