It’s been a great weekend for catching up with old friends and meeting new ones. And it just so happened that most of us were in that noble, yet much maligned profession of journalism.
Being of A Certain Age, we agreed that young ‘uns these days didn’t have that hungriness of a hardened hack, trained on the job. For us, cutting and pasting was what we did on a weekend with wallpaper and un-decorated rooms. There were no computers, no mobile phones and the only way to get the story was catch the number 62 bus to Dewsbury where all news happened.
There were none of those fancy media study degrees, we signed indentures, making us real apprentices, tied to our employers for three years or so until we attained our National Council for the Training of Journalists Proficiency Certificate. Researching and writing stories was an art, which started and finished each day as deadlines came and went.
It was exciting and frustrating at the same time. We had egos that need to be massaged by seeing our names next to the stories we had so cleverly written. The by-lines were at the whim of the sub editors and many a moan was had over a lunchtime pint in the pub after the first edition hit the streets.
Best of all were the adventures we could have, just because we knew we could write about them. One of my favourites was a trip in a Tiger Moth, restored by an enthusiast who was prepared to take me as a passenger. Oh my goodness I thought I was going to die when the fabric and wood plane bumpety bumped across the airfield before finally taking off, the propeller rattling so hard I thought my ribs were going to shatter. I didn’t open my eyes until we were airborne and then.. and then? Well. it was worth all the rubbishy little jobs I had to do as a trainee reporter to enjoy such an experience and have the privilege of writing about it. Do I miss journalism? You bet I do. Would I go back? Naw……