Eighteen years ago I began my career in journalism when Southern Reporter editor John Smail offered me the opportunity to become his trainee sports reporter.
The opportunity came at the end of a two-week work experience stint in Selkirk. I was lucky. When the senior sports reporter handed in his notice, I was right under the editor’s nose. I happened to be in the right place at the right time.
This is my first full week as the new editor of The Southern. It many ways it feels like a homecoming. I lived the first three months of my life in a flat on Forest Road in Selkirk and now find myself driving past it on my way to the office each morning. The office itself has since moved, of course, from Selkirk High Street to the town’s Tweed Mill Business Park. But some of the staff who I worked alongside from 1998 to 2000 are still here. They are as enormously proud of The Southern Reporter. Rightly so.
The Southern Reporter has a long and proud history and tradition. It is the voice of the Scottish Borders.
It is an honour and a privilege to be taking over as editor at such an exciting time for the region. The opening of the Borders Railway in a few months is one of the biggest events to happen here for decades. Both in print and online, The Southern will be providing unrivalled coverage. I will welcome your feedback along the way and hope you enjoy the ride.