ANOTHER long-serving Camden hack has made the move to the nationals with Katie Davies, award-winning news editor Ham & High making a deserved leap last week to the Independent‘s newdesk. It’s a natural progression for a journalist with a clear thirst for the job. She’ll do a fine job in her new position.
We used to shoot off emails to each other, teasing about missed stories, rubbish headlines and misclaimed exclusives, spotting typos and sharing a list of London’s most annoying press officers. I told her to come and work for the CNJ but she was rightly proud of her achievements in Swiss Cottage. She wouldn’t budge.
Her leaving do at the Holly Bush in Hampstead was like the olden days exits of H&H staff. A big turnout, a clutch of councillors and some old colleagues. She was never going to make do with the alpine lagers at the Old Ye Swiss Cottage by the gyratory. It was a clear recognition of the shift she has put in. More than six years.
Katie impressed people from all quarters in Camden, politics, newspapers, whatever their field, when she had a letter published in her own newspaper, criticising the overall management’s decision to accept advertising from the British National Party. Wherever you stand on the ethics of that, it’s a pretty brave decision to so publicly disagree with your editor. It seemed from Thursday’s affectionate send-off that working relationships were not strained. Editor Geoff Martin gave a warm speech about how he had always known it was ‘only a matter of time as to how long we could keep her’. You could appreciate what he was saying.
Under the Davies regime, the paper upped its stake in the political reporting of Camden and came up with feature interviews that barged their way onto the pages of the nationals. Nobody could draw better quotes from Brian Coleman.
Nobody blushed so much in front of David Miliband.
It seems a long time ago since we queued up together waiting to interview Tony Blair