Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Arnold Hadwin, an inspirational editor

Arnold Hadwin - urbane, old school editor
 Photo: Press Gazette

I was saddened to learn of the death of Arnold Hadwin, OBE, a former editor of one of my old papers, the Evening Despatch. Although he had left to edit the Telegraph and Argus in Bradford by the time I shipped up in Darlington, I met him a few times. He struck me as an urbane man, always smartly turned out with a real passion for newspapers and a huge supporter of excellent journalism. He was a thoughtful man with plenty to say too. This came over in an interview he gave to the Press Gazette two years ago when he talked about the way newspapers were run today. Here are a few of his choice quotes.  
“The people who run newspapers know nothing about newspapers.”
“They want 18 per cent profit when they should settle for six. Eighteen per cent and 20 per cent is monstrous. At the height of the German economic miracle, they were all prepared to take eight per cent returns on capital."
“I was always opposed to cutting down editorial posts. It’s the easiest thing in the world to sack people - it’s more difficult to become more efficient. If you have got five football matches, you want five people in five places. You can’t rely on donkeys telling you what might have happened.”
“Everyone seems to think they’re capable of writing to the level of a proper journalist. But you can’t just sit down and write the first sort of crap that comes into your head. With journalism, there is a long apprenticeship.”
Many people in the industry will know his daughter Sara who is course director of the MA in International Journalism at Cardiff University and was previously an editor at the North West Mail and Petersfield Post. She has been in touch to say the funeral is on Tuesday February 1 at St Hugh's, Langworth (in Lincolnshire), at 1.30pm and afterwards in the village Memorial Hall. 

There are tributes to Arnold in his old paper the T and A and by Mike Amos in The Northern Echo here.

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