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Panpa Bulletin : February 2006
Health concerns lead to Taranaki Daily News editors' resignation 58 | PANPA BULLETIN February 2006 PEOPLE DEVELOPING eyesight and hear- ing problems have forced Lance Girling-Butcher, 63, to resign from editorship of New Plymouth's Taranaki Daily News by end of April. Fairfax New Zealand editor- in-chief Peter O'Hara described Girling-Butcher as an outstand- ing editor whose judgement and editorial skills had served Tarana- ki and the company's newspapers with distinction. Girling-Butcher joined the paper, formerly titled, The Daily News, as a cadet in 1966. Early in his career he spent two years in the Wairarapa but returned to his home province to join the Tarana- ki Herald afternoon daily. He was appointed editor in 1987. Closure of that newspaper in 1989 was probably the most trau- matic event in his career, Girling- Butcher recalled in a Taranaki Daily News front-page announce- ment of his retirement. He man- aged the company's community newspapers after that closure un- til his appointment as associate editor of The Daily News in 1994. He became editor in 2000. Girling-Butcher in his inter- view lists team achievements dur- ing his tenure like increasing the number of local stories, introduc- ing magazine-style pages through the week, upgrading coverage of business news and fine tuning the way articles are researched and written. Given Girling- Butcher's long career The PANPA Bulletin asked him if he had any advice to give. Editors should panic slowly says Girling- Butcher! New and aspiring editors are advised to keep their sense of hu- mour, panic slowly and take their time with important decisions. "The biggest hurdle for new editors is getting used to the fact that the buck stops with them, and learning to cope with the pressure that this can bring," Girling-Butcher said. "Editors play a major role in setting the tone for their staff and the wider community. Their deci- sions influence others' lives. It can be a lonely and daunting task. It can also be a lot of fun. "No one will think the less of you for talking over a problem. Senior staff, other editors and your boss can be very helpful. "Editors can find themselves as a super complaints authority and a buffer in many potentially con- frontational situations, like those between journalists and man- agement, journalists and readers or advertisers, and even between factions in their own staff. It helps to be diplomatic. "Reporters and subs will also apply a lot of pressure to publish potentially dangerous stories. Do not lose sight of the fact that it all comes back to common sense. There are situations where it is im- portant to step back, evaluate the benefits and risks and remember that the world will not end if some- thing is not published. Conversely a difficult article in the public in- terest can achieve a great deal. "Remember too the most im- portant people in the equation are the readers. A good editor needs to know how readers think, what they think and how they feel about the publication. "A happy staff will be much more productive and produce better quality than one that feels down trodden. It is important to know the team and to make sure they are enjoying their work. It [that enjoyment] will show in the material published. "Above all else an editor needs to look after themselves. People do not make good decisions feel- ing stressed out. They need to find ways of tuning out and relax- ing and delegating responsibility. People will rise to the challenge and that way everyone benefits. " He said. Lance Girling-Butcher, advises new and aspiring editors are to keep their sense of humour, panic slowly. Tony Kendall comes home TONY Kendall is returning to Aus- tralia to take up the position of News Limited advertising sales director, following Ray Atkinson's elevation to the board and the posi- tion of director of sales. Kendall joined News Limited in 1989 and worked in a number of sales roles with The Sunday Tel- egraph, Newsnet and the Herald and Weekly Times in Melbourne. He was HWT advertising director before moving to Sydney as deputy group advertising director in 2003. His most recent appointment has been at the New York Post, where he was senior vice-president sales and circulation. News Limited chairman and chief executive officer, John Harti- gan, said he was delighted Kendall was returning to Sydney. "Few peo- ple have Tony's wealth of practical as well as managerial experience," said Hartigan. "He played a key role in restructuring the national News- net sales operation in his two years as News Limited deputy advertising sales director before moving to New York. There are many exciting de- velopments underway across News Limited's newspapers, magazines and online sites and Tony is ideally suited to make sure our teams capi- talise on them, maximising creative opportunities for our advertisers, particularly our key accounts." Kendall is delighted to be return- ing to Sydney. "I am very excited at the opportunity to lead News Limited's advertising team and build on Ray's great achievements. I have enjoyed working in one of the world's most challenging and vibrant adver- tising markets while at the New York Post and I look forward to bringing that experience back to Australia," he said.