Farewell Birmingham Post

My last day at the Birmingham Post was Tuesday 22 December 2009. I slid out on a farewell blog like Santa on his sleigh. Here is my heart-felt post, with added pictures, which was published in the Birmingham Post that day.


Bye bye Birmingham Post

Bye bye Birmingham Post. I have been with you for more than 21 years. In those years you have been through eight editors, gone from being a broadsheet, to a tabloid, to a broadsheet and back to a tabloid again, only we don’t call you that. You were black and white then, you’re colour now. You were a six day a week publication when I joined. Now you are a multi-media operation of which the newspaper is only a part.

In those 21 years, I have changed too. My mother has died, I’ve been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, I’ve lived in community, I’ve lived on my own and I’ve lived with my family. I’ve married, I’ve had a son, I’ve had two books published and I’ve learnt to sing jazz. I’ve gone from being an angry idealist determined to change the world to someone who is content to change her little bit of it and is happier than I knew was possible – same hairstyle though.

Farewell everyone I have ever interviewed

Farewell everyone I have ever interviewed. I became a journalist because of you. It’s been an honour to hear your stories and to tell them as faithfully as I could, whatever the pressure of my deadlines or the barking of the newsdesk. There are some of you who have touched me so deeply, I will never forget you. Thank you for your trust and for making my work such a privilege.

Adieu colleagues. What can I say to you? Do you know what I respect about you? That whatever we go through – and we have been through one Hell of a lot – still the stories get written, still the deadlines get met, still the newspapers come out. Sometimes I wonder how we do it. We do it because nobody cares about journalism as much as we do. What binds us is our professionalism and our dedication to our trade. By God, I shall miss that camaraderie. Stay in touch.

Farewell to the grubby sensuality of printing

There are other things which ceased to be part of my working life some time ago, but to which I feel the need to say goodbye. Bye bye inky fingers. Ta ra to the increasing clattering of keyboards as the deadlines draw nearer. Adieu to getting on my knees in the library to pull out files of black and white photographs and rub the red crayon marks from them with the sleeve of my jumper. Farewell to the deafening clamour of newspapers rattling along overhead conveyor belts into lorries blocking Printing House Street, so we could not get out of the building. Farewell to the grubby sensuality of printing.

Bye bye, Fort Dunlop. Ta ra M6, or rather the sight of you snaking your way through the estates of Castle Vale. Farewell standing in the bitter-cold opposite Moor Street Station wondering if the Urban Splash shuttle bus will ever turn up. Goodbye ladies loos, the secrets you have heard and the lipstick applications you have witnessed. You never did get those bog brushes did you?

Au revoir journalism

Au revoir journalism. This is the one which brings a tear to my eye as I type. I leave in the hope it is “ta ra a bit” rather than goodbye for good. We will always tell stories. We will always need story-tellers. Bye bye to the traditional ways of doing it – you were great, you really were. Hello wonderfully connected new world.


Comments: 15

  1. Almost four years on, I still miss the random conversations that used to fill the day in the newsroom. The likes of Twitter can help with that, but is in no way a replacement – nothing can be.

    Good luck Jo, it was always a pleasure to sit alongside you in features.
    (Liking the new site by the way!)

  2. Mike Hughes says:

    When Mick Higgins left as Deputy Editor, his entire leaving speech was basically “I’ll miss the people”.
    He was right. Work was actually great and very enjoyable for me, and the Post is outstanding. But the people were very special, from Travis to Ind, Thorne to Brown, McComb to Bird, Probert to Reeves.
    Best wishes to all

  3. Jo Ind says:

    I agree with you both. Your colleagues are like family – you don’t choose them but you have to get on with them anyway and you become all the fonder of them for it.

    Kisses both!

  4. “I still miss the random conversations that used to fill the day in the newsroom.”
    Without wanting to sound all bitter and cynical,there aren’t any more of those because the few people left in the newsroom don’t have the time – they’re all too busy ‘shovelling s***’ as a respected former Post staffer said to me on his last night just before Christmas.
    As I said on my final day at Funlop, I feel incredibly grateful for the people I met during my 15 years with the Post – to like 99 per cent of the people you work with is an enormous blessing; my wife likes precisely none of the people she works with and it makes life Hell.
    And now we’re all setting out to meet new people, do new things, try new experiences and I’m sure we’ll enjoy it just as much. I know I’ve enjoyed my busy first week out in the wilds. Best wishes to you all.

  5. Jo Ind says:

    I dunno – even when Patrice and Christina and I were right up against it, we still managed to sneak in deep and unmeaningful conversation as we clattered away. It’s working with a team to a common goal that I miss.

  6. Pingback: Why the IPad is no secret weapon that will save print – Marc Reeves
  7. Dolly says:

    joind.co.uk – da mejor. Guardar va!


  8. Jo Ind says:

    Gracias Dolly. ¡Lo haré!

  9. Rafael Arturo says:

    Wow! This could be one particular of the most beneficial blogs We have ever arrive across on this subject. Basically Magnificent. I’m also an expert in this topic so I can understand your effort.

  10. Mike says:

    If you like classical music like this, you HAVE to watch Josh Wright play La Campanella on two grand pianos! It is incredible.

  11. Molly says:

    Very touching story, Jo. It never ceases to amaze me at how beautiful life can be and it really seems like you appreciate every moment of it.

    Best of luck to you in your future endeavors!

  12. I remember running into this in the past. I wish I had read it more often! good luck to you!

    Running Coach

  13. Jo Ind says:

    I don’t believe you, Ken. I think you’re smaming me, but as I like running, I won’t delete you.

  14. Luke says:

    Jo, I have to say I’ve fallen in love with your blog. I’m not sure how I actually got here..clicking from blog to blog until I somehow landed on yours. As you say in your Why I Love Funerals Post “Sometimes the best things are those that we stumble upon.”

    I chose to comment on this page because it hit home with me. I’ll be saying goodbye to my engineering job at the end of this year. I hope I can do so with the same dignity and poise as you.

    Please keep writing…the world needs your voice.

  15. Jo Ind says:

    Thanks Luke. Very good luck with your farewell to your engineering job. I have never once regretted my decision to leave print journalism. I hope things work out as well for you.

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