Newham Recorder 50: Former editor Michael Adkins wants you to get in touch

PUBLISHED: 16:00 13 June 2018

Recorder editor Michael Adkins giving out an award with Tessa Sanderson CBE. Pic: Paul Boyling

Recorder editor Michael Adkins giving out an award with Tessa Sanderson CBE. Pic: Paul Boyling


Nothing quite compares to becoming a newspaper editor.

Whether it’s a local in a remote Norfolk village, a fast paced newsroom in east London or the dizzy heights of the Fleet Street born national papers that we all love to hate it’s a cracking job.

My time in the hot seat for the Newham Recorder was short lived (a mere four or so years) but they are among some of the most cherished in my career.

I am still involved as group editor overseeing our London portfolio of newspapers and websites and it’s a huge honour.

All editors will tell you their patch is a unique place but Newham truly is.

The various editors and reporters over five decades have always done their best to celebrate the community, hold authority to account and report the news and information important to you.

I had big shoes to fill when I took over from Mr Newham himself - the one and only Colin Grainger.

A man who still offers a listening ear and support years after his departure. Both Colin and the Recorder’s first editor Tom Duncan set the bar extremely high.

Colin I have a confession. About 12 to 14 years ago, as a news editor in Kent, I listened to your modest speech at a company event as you proudly talked about the Newham Recorder and Community Links Toy Appeal. I was awestruck by the reach of the appeal, supported by community stalwart Kevin Jenkins OBE, co-founder of local charity Community Links. To this day its bold but simple ethos remains: “to make sure no child in Newham goes without a present at Christmas”.

After your speech I hurriedly rushed back to the Kent newsroom and ripped off the idea to create a much smaller version of the appeal to benefit Darent Valley Hospital in north Kent with the support of Len Goodman, then head judge on the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing. Although its success was small in comparison to the long-standing Newham appeal it proved the power of local press. We can make a difference to our communities.

Yes, we will report bad news, whether it’s crime, poverty or wrongdoing by local authorities.

But there is much to celebrate and my message to readers as we mark the paper’s 50th birthday is this. The Recorder is as much your paper as ours.

We are your messengers and we want to tell the stories that matter to you so please get in touch.

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