Bryan Armstrong is bowing out from the role after 23 years to focus on freelance media work and photo-journalism.
Taking over the hotseat will be Fiona Reid, who has been with the company since 2000 and has been news-editor for the last nine years. They both share a passion for the DnG newspapers — including the Annandale Observer, Dumfries Courier, Annandale Herald and Moffat News — and an enthusiasm for their Dumfries and Galloway and north Cumbria patch.
Wishing Fiona well in her new role, Bryan said: “She knows our readers well and the issues that concern them. As part of the community she shares their interests and aspirations and I’m sure will bring her own insightful touch to the titles.
“I’d like to thank everyone who has helped me, the many contributors and, in particular, our army of readers — many whom were always ready to offer valuable feedback which was greatly appreciated.”
Bryan, who delivered newspapers as a teenager, has worked with DnG Media in several roles since first serving his apprenticeship as compositor in the early 1970s. He was later a photographer, reporter and assistant editor before being appointed editor in 1994. Bryan praised the team at DnG Media and all the many journalists he had worked with down the years and the family proprietors, whom, despite challenging times in the industry, have maintained the independence and character of the newspapers. He said: “It has been a privilege meeting so many people, sometimes in difficult circumstances, who have shared their stories with us. “We may be far from the big cities but the countryside and Solway coast makes this a very attractive region to live and work although raises many particular issues.”
Bryan recalled covering major events such as the Lockerbie disaster, a damaging earthquake, serious crimes, storms, fires, accidents, foot and mouth disease outbreaks and Royal and Prime Ministerial visits. However, asked about what stuck in his mind the most, he replied: “Probably the happy everyday community events. Just dipping in and out of local people’s lives at special times. It has been definitely one of the perks of the job.”
Preparing to takeover as editor from Monday, Fiona said: “Bryan has trained me well over the last two decades and he will be missed by us all in the newsroom. I share his passion and enthusiasm for local news, accuracy and independent reporting, and will carry forward those principles.
“I’m looking forward to the new challenge and I’m especially proud to be the company’s first female editor.”
DnG Media managing director Peter Laidlaw said: “I would like to thank Bryan for all his hard work and editorial stewardship. He has always had a passion for balanced, independent reporting which has been at the bedrock of the principles for which our newspapers stand. He has also trained and supported many young journalists who I’m sure learned a lot from his experience at the start of their careers which led them into various areas of the media.
“Taking over as editor is Fiona Reid who also benefited from such guidance. I congratulate her on her appointment and I am sure she will bring enthusiasm and passion to the role.”
- Pictured above, left to right: Bryan Armstrong, Peter Laidlaw, Fiona Reid