About the Straight Talking blog

I’m Liz Carnell,  Leeds newspaper journalist living in beautiful North Yorkshire, Straight Talking blog founder, infuriated Daily Mail reader, big user of the NHS, wife, mother of @theandroidizen, cat owner and friend.

I’ve spent more than 40 fantastic years in newspapers – working with my best friends – and loved nearly every moment. Although I joined Berrows Newspapers as a cub reporter back in 1973, I had my first published comment piece (about school uniforms)  in 1971 when I was a 16-year-old at Prince Henry’s Grammar School in Evesham.

838b7eb955f50a7244f9daf862aa1f0bI’ve worked as a reporter, sub / feature writer for evening newspapers belonging to Berrows (now Newsquest), Northcliffe and Johnston Press.

In 1999, while working in the day jobs,  @theandroidizen and I started up the charity Bullying Online, which became Bullying UK and merged with Parentline Plus in 2010. The combined charities are now called Family Lives. We won lots of national awards, including the Pride of Britain 2005, Big Issue Big Difference Award and (twice) were regional winners of the E-Commerce Awards. I’m more proud of the help we gave young people and their families than anything else I’ve ever done.

Unfortunately, in 2012 I had to give up work due to the effects of cancer treatment, but I’ve got too much to do to join my ancestors just yet. I live on the edge of Nidderdale and when I’m up to it, I love walking in the Yorkshire Dales, cruising in the Med and genealogy. I’m also a member of the Embroiderers’ Guild.

I want to see local newspapers survive

I’m a big defender of local newspapers, and the people who work on them, and I want to see them survive. I’ve always thought newspaper websites should be entertainment portals including content other than news. It’s a myth that old hacks are Luddites, most of us are well trained in what used to be called new technology,  Quark Xpress, Atex, Photoshop, but the debate about how we go forward is essential.

I’m not against user generated content, but we can’t do away with reporters, subs, photographers and editors, not if you want a quality product. They are the glue that holds the whole thing together.

Anything I say is my own opinion, don’t blame my ex-employers!