Having spent the past 14 years at The Bolton News & Bury Times, multimedia editor David Crookes has opted to go freelance to pursue a new career as a writer for trade and consumer titles and as a budding author and exhibition fixer.
He leaves the title this Friday.
Crookes, a Durham University graduate, joined what was then The Bolton Evening News on a work experience project, having just completed a postgraduate diploma at UCLan. After a few weeks, he caught the eye of the editor Mark Rossiter and was shortly afterwards offered a job as a trainee reporter.
He worked his way up to become a senior reporter before being offered a new challenge on the news desk, initially as assistant news editor and subsequently as deputy news editor.
In 2009 he was appointed the multimedia editor.
“We’ve seen massive changes,” he told Prolific North. “We used to occupy four floors but now it’s just one. However, I am confident that we still reflect the communities we serve as well as we ever did, albeit on resources substantially less then we enjoyed just a few years ago.”
Although some might question his sanity to go freelance in the current environment, Crookes said:
“I simply want to broaden my horizons. I do have some work already arranged, writing for national newspapers and magazines, and I’ll be looking to indulge my passion for technology and video gaming but also specialising in health, education and human interest stories.
“I’m planning to write a book too and will be seeking to work with companies based around the Manchester area, particularly as I’ll be basing myself at MediaCityUK.”
He’s also hoping to indulge a little more of his time planning and staging exhibitions.
In 2009 he held his first exhibition “Videogame Nation” at Urbis which ran for five months and then in 2011 he staged an updated version of the exhibition at Woodhorn, just outside Newcastle.
He said he will look back at his time in Bolton with great fondness. “I’ve met some wonderful people and worked with some very talented individuals over the past 14 years. The set-up today at Bolton is rock solid and there are many great journalists on both the Bury Times and The Bolton News.
“The editorial team here has some exciting plans for the future and whoever takes over the website will have great freedom – the set up at The Bolton News encourages creativity and the editor is always keen for people to try new things and experiment to a degree. There’s no doubt that I’ve learned some very valuable skills here.”
His replacement has yet to be confirmed.
Crookes can be found tweeting @davidcrookes