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KM Group journalist Neil Webber retires after more than 30 years in the business

Neil Webber retirement.
Neil Webber retirement.

Neil Webber, with KM Group Chairman Geraldine Allinson, is joined by colleagues at his farewell presentation at the company's Gazette House, Whitstable on Friday. Picture: Chris Davey

A long-serving KM Group journalist who spent the last decade of his career helping young reporters learn the skills of the job, has retired.

Neil Webber
Neil Webber

Neil Webber, 60, was the company’s editorial training manager but his own career as a reporter began with the Kentish Gazette in 1977.

A former pupil of Kent College who grew up in Canterbury, his love of sport soon saw him offered the post of sports editor and later, after the Gazette was acquired by the KM Group, he became group sports editor.

He was subsequently appointed group production editor but then took on the role of managing the KM Group’s own training of journalists, in association with the National Council for the Training of Journalists.

He said: “Today’s journalists have to be multi-skilled to provide material for the wide range of new media. But the best reporters still have that natural instinct and intuition for getting stories.

“It is a hugely popular industry but has become increasingly competitive because there are fewer vacancies. It means employers can afford to choose candidates with the highest academic qualifications - but they still look out for those who show that special flair.”

He added; “I’ve been lucky to have spent so much of my life working in such an enjoyable and rewarding career and to have worked for a company that believes passionately in the value of training.”

Ian Carter, KM Group editorial director said: “In his time with the KM, Neil has helped develop the careers of hundreds of journalists. Neil’s passion for journalism is as strong as ever, and he has played a leading role in helping to establish the KM Group as a truly multi-media company."

Neil, who lives St Stephen’s Road, says he will miss the buzz of the newsroom but is looking forward to spending more time playing golf, travelling and with his family.

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