A recent former assistant news editor at the Daily Record newspaper has just started a new job: as the media relations officer, in Scotland, for the humanitarian aid organisation, the Red Cross.
Derek Masterton was among a group of journalists who, earlier this year, accepted voluntary redundancy packages as part of cost-cutting at the Record and sister title, the Sunday Mail. He had been at the Record for 30 years, the last 13 as assistant news editor.
These last six months, he has been freelancing news and features under the banner, 'DM Media'. With the Red Cross, he'll be based at their offices in Hillington, Glasgow. He says he is planning to keep DM Media “ticking over”, with the occasional feature piece though.
He told allmediascotland.com. “It's quite a change of direction. As one former colleague succinctly put it in a text message: 'A seamless transition from ruining lives to saving lives.' It's certainly not an easy option, however, and there's a lot more to the job than just churning out press releases and trying to persuade my newspaper colleagues of old to use them.
“A big challenge at the moment is remembering that I'm not in a newsroom any more and learning to voice pleasure/displeasure/surprise in a somewhat different manner – bang goes a large chunk of my vocabulary.
“I'm looking forward to settling into my role within the communications team and helping promote the very important – and often unsung – work of the Red Cross and its huge legion of volunteers in Scotland and further afield. I was truly stunned to discover the huge variety and amount of work that the Red Cross undertakes – not just in far flung places, but in Scotland and throughout the rest of UK. You'll be reading all about it soon.”