The outgoing editor of a Newsquest-owned weekly has hit out at “lazy” journalists and “obstructive” press officers in a series of parting shots about the state of the industry.
Steve Dancey, who has served as editor of the Andover Advertiser for the last two and a half years, is bowing out after almost a quarter of a century in the local press.
At a farewell bash, Steve decried press officers for churning out “useless press releases” as well as “lazy” journalists who then cut and paste them straight into stories.
However, he also admitted he had enjoyed his time working in newspapers – which has seen him hold various roles at local titles in Hampshire and Wiltshire.
Said Steve, pictured: “People employed in big organisations’ corporate communications departments are happy to puff out endless useless press releases for the band of lazy journalists to cut and paste, but their parallel function is to obstruct and prevent reporters getting to the truth.”
“Sadly fewer and fewer local reporters seem to have the time or inclination to properly research stories fully. However in just a few years there won’t be much of the industry left to worry about.”
Of his departure from the Advertiser, Steve added: “The break was a civilised one. I’ve enjoyed my time working in newspapers but times change and nothing lasts for ever.”
“The thing I’ll miss most is the buzz of the newsrooms and the amazing characters who work in them.”
Steve currently serves as a town councillor in Warminster, Wiltshire, as well as writing for the hyperlocal website www.visionforwarminster.co.uk.
The farewell party at the town’s White Hart Hotel attended by past and present colleagues as well as close contacts, including North West Hampshire MP Sir George Young.
Sir George paid tribute to Steve, adding “Steve has done a great job for the Advertiser over the past three years, when times have been difficult for local newspapers.”
“He has led his team through the recession, and kept the paper full of news and events, with fewer staff.”
This article was copied and pasted from Hold The Front Page with thanks to David Sharman.