THIS week sees the start of a new era at the Globe, with founder Robin Young stepping down from active involvement nine years after the Gosport-based free community newspaper project came into being.
Although he, and his wife Fran, remain directors of Gosport Globe Community Publications C.I.C., operational control now passes to Managing Director Connor Steel and incoming Editorial Director Trigo Neo Starden.
At 29, Connor is the youngest member of the team behind the publishing initiative that, in addition to its core Gosport and Fareham target area, also carries news from around the Solent and has readers worldwide – mainly expats – living in 55 different countries. He has worked at the Globe for more than four years after graduating from Portsmouth University with an MA in Graphic Design and is the paper’s new Editor.
Trigo is an experienced Indonesian journalist and broadcaster, with a background in business and his country of origin’s diplomatic service. One of his priorities will be to develop the Globe as a training hub for aspiring journalists and support Connor in involving people with a range of challenging medical conditions.
Although 70-year-old Robin will continue to support the not-for-profit company’s progress and intends to tie up “a few loose ends”, he retired from the full-time management team on Friday, June 30.
In a farewell message to colleagues, contributors and – not least – readers, he said: “After so many years since Tog Porter and I launched the original company, My Free News Ltd, in June 2014 before the first edition of the then Gosport Globe appeared on January 23, 2015, my decision to take a back seat comes with mixed emotions – mainly a sense of sadness mixed with an overwhelming feeling of relief that life should now be a little easier.
“But, with Connor and Trigo bringing their combination of youthful verve and impressive business acumen to the key roles, it is definitely the right time for me to retreat into the background.”
“There have been many highlights as the Globe progressed from being a weekly, then Sunday, pdf download before it extended its sphere of operations to include Fareham and eventually evolved into what is an effective daily digital news operation.”
“These included putting the spotlight on the wire mesh implants scandal that did so much to women across our area and further afield before the campaign was taken up by an excellent series of BBC documentaries. And still on the medical topic, arguably our most worthwhile editorial achievement came during the Covid-19 crisis, when former chief correspondent Rob Thomas kept readers up-to-date with all the advice available from the NHS, government and local authorities.”
“However, there have been so many volunteers involved in the paper’s success story that to single anyone out for mention would be unfair. You know who you are, will always be my friends and I thank you, wholeheartedly, for everything that you have done. The paper has always benefitted from a mixture of experienced news-gatherers and aspiring journalists of all ages. Long may that continue and, hopefully, it might one day be possible for them to receive adequate financial reward for their efforts.”
“Above all, though, the Globe went from strength to strength as an experiment in community publishing because of the loyal support demonstrated by its readers. Politicians of all parties played an important part in helping to spread all the news fit to print – and, occasionally, some that was not. Although we all have our own views on who should be in government, I am proud that the Globe remains an independent voice on the scene, maintaining the right to criticise or applaud without fear of favour”
“In freeing up more time for myself, I can now devote more of it to family matters, my work chairing the Gosport Community Association and, fingers crossed, will now be able to resume a course with the Open University that I had to put on hold last autumn.”
Having started his career on the Peterborough Evening Telegraph in 1969, over the next half century Robin worked for provincial weekly, evening, morning and Sunday titles, editing newspapers in Northern Ireland and Scotland before moving to Gosport 11 years ago because of family connections with the Royal Navy.
Incoming Globe Editor Connor said today, Sunday, July 2: “I would like to thank Robin for his desire and outstanding work to keep the Globe running, particularly despite both personal and business challenges. He has mentored and supported me despite my occasionally funny sarcasm at times alongside many others. Hopefully he can still pay a key role in his beloved newspaper when time constraints allow.
“Having met Trigo on many occasions, I look forward to working alongside him and share his dreams of supporting young local journalists in their careers. Lastly, you readers are important and we will endeavour to continue our reputation of quality independent journalism.”
PICTURED: Globe founder Robin Young in reflective mood as he steps down from his editorial and management roles