I count my blessings that I’m old-fashioned

Journalism is one of those slightly old fashioned trades.

Call me old fashioned – and people regularly do – but while I cede the point that when it comes to communicating, it’s all web and apps and twitting nowadays but I’ve always preferred, and I always will, a proper printed newspaper in my hand.

Alongside e-mails and tweets and all those things, my trade still relies on the gentle and increasingly rare art of conversation to get the stories we need and to get the job done.

And, crucially as far as I am concerned, I have, in the last decade as a reporter, rarely had to sit round a table and “team build” or “brainstorm” or “work in pairs” with a group of strangers.

Courses, conferences and the like have, thankfully, featured but occasionally in my professional life.


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Not so for my sister Claire, who works in the food industry. This week she went to somewhere in the Cotswolds to take an exam with a group of people she didn’t know.

As we sat in my Felixstowe flat with sea views (distant) on Sunday with a pre-luncheon sparkling white wine she told me the story.

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“We all had to sit round and introduce ourselves to the other delegates. We had to say our name, our company and what our claim to fame was.”

According to Claire, one fellow delegate mentioned he had been on Total Wipeout (series one, episode four).

Though, I am sure Claire was tempted to say she has an almost famous brother on the Felixstowe peninsula who appears regularly in the pages of the Ipswich Star, I think she plumped for the time she swiped the board with a load of eight-years-olds when she won the highly competitive miniature garden competition in the village fete aged 32-and-a-half.

Anyway, afterwards they enjoyed a “working buffet lunch” – I bet it included quiche – they then had to “get into their groups” for the “afternoon workshop” before taking an exam under, appropriately named I thought, “exam conditions”.

It all sounded rather ghastly.

The most I have to put up with is the occasional glamorous award ceremony or light lunch with a contact.

Even in these days of Leveson and everyone, erroneously, assuming we journalists spend most of time phone hacking or pestering so-called celebrities, I count my blessings.

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