Editor's Blog

Tania away on a bold mission

05:00am 31 Mar 2014

A Peter Yealands carton sitting on the floor at work spelled out his mission statement: "Think boldly, tread lightly and never say it can't be done."

Each time I look at it I think of our former Picton reporter Tania Butterfield, a young woman who grew up in Christchurch and came to work with us in Marlborough.

She has been living in Japan for the past two years, teaching English in a couple of small town schools and we have kept up with her life in blogs published each fortnight.

She has handled the language difficulties and the cultural differences and has enjoyed living with the contrasts.

But she is about to take on a bold new challenge and I am growing increasingly worried about her plans.

Read More

Team effort gets us through week

05:00am 28 Mar 2014

It has been one of those weeks, really.

Monday started badly with the news that long-time Express "family" member Kay Botham had died in Wellington Hospital. She had been rushed off to hospital about a week earlier and had deteriorated quickly.

It's always a shock when we lose people who seem so well.

Kay had worked part-time in dispatch for a long time, and had also been our tea lady until she finished up last year. She always had a kind word, a lovely smile and was interested in how things were going. There was usually some of her excellent baking on a plate in the kitchen, too. And she was so proud of her grandchildren.

It seems just a few days since she last popped in for a chat. We'll miss her.

Read More

'House' style keeps us consistent

05:00am 24 Mar 2014

A letter from a regular writer this week implored me to stop my subediting team messing about with her text - specifically to leave capital letters on the proper nouns.

She was also riled that her grammar was regularly tampered with.

But her letters have to follow some of our rules. We have this beast called "house style", which is the guide to the way we do things, and the words we prefer. For example, we use an "s" rather than a "z" when there is an option; we use plural pronouns for collective entities (such as companies); and we used capitals only when necessary.

Ultimately someone in Fairfax has to make the decision so we are consistent - not just in the group, but in the same paper, so sport is the same as business, is the same as general news.

A style change is coming that might cause a few comments, but is again based on the need for consistency. In sport, arts, business, international news and some opinion pieces, we don't use honorifics (Mrs, Mr, Ms, Dr, Sir). But we do in news.

Read More

Emma heads off to motherhood

05:00am 14 Mar 2014

We've been watching one of the Express editorial crew expand alarmingly during the past few months.

Photographer Emma Allen, who is a petite young woman, has grown as her "condition" developed. She is with child.

She did well to carry some of the big lenses at the best of times, but it has become a struggle of late. Seeing her climb the stairs during the past few weeks, lumbered with her gear, was like watching a climber finally reach the summit.

She has done it valiantly.

She joined us from Wellington two years ago and has taken many superb pictures of you out there. We've enjoyed using them in the paper and on the website, and various judges have also recognised their excellence. She's won a couple of national and international awards and regularly featured in monthly competitions among Fairfax group photographers.

Read More

Happy family or easy target?

05:00am 10 Mar 2014

We've all seen those happy stickers on the back window of vehicles introducing the owner-family to the rest of the world.

Some of them say "Meet the family" or something along those lines.

It's quite interesting to see the combination of people attached to the vehicle - mum, dad and the two kids; sometimes more kids; sometimes an animal or two thrown in; a grandparent; a older person and a pet; a solo parent and a couple of kids.

We live in a world with a huge mix of domestic arrangements and the car stickers cover them all. You can buy them from shops, online and as school or club fundraisers.

In some ways it's a bit like those "baby on board" stickers that suggest we might take more care with that car because there's a precious bundle in the back seat. Or maybe they want us to cut the driver a bit of slack in case they are suddenly distracted by the baby.

Read More

Blog terms and conditions

You're welcome to post in the comments section of our blogs. Please keep comments under 400 words. When submitting a comment, you agree to be bound by our terms and conditions.