TODAY’S Herald carries a nib which will have an absolutely massive impact on the quality and trust in Scottish journalism.
Under the headline ‘Veteran reporter is set to retire’ it reports that Joe Quinn of the Press Association is to leave the national wire agency next month.
Anyone who knows anything about Scottish journalism will tell you that Joe – alone – has commanded the respect of every newspaper operation in the land.
Once he goes, it will mark the end of an era, and Scottish journalism will be all the poorer from his departure.
His shorthand, fairness and unassuming, friendly nature have helped make him a constant in the life of many a cub reporter sent to cover a major event or tribunal or press call or political sensation.
Joe, 61, joined PA in 1975 and coverered probably every major event to have happened in Scotland since, including Lockerbie, Dunblane and the Piper Alpha.
In 2003 his duties to journalism were recognised by the Scottish Press Awards who presented him with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Scottish Daily Newspaper Society.
On receiving the accolade – while Scottish Political Editor – he said he operated under the wisdom that he should “always strive to report fairly”.
I tried to call him at the Glasgow offices of PA a short time ago to wish him all the best. The phone rang out, unanswered.
No doubt Joe will have been out covering whatever big event of the day required his attentions or be busy briefing others instead.
Either way, had I left a message, he would have called back when he could. He always does. Because that’s Joe Quinn.
The ultimate professional.