From education to employment

Incoming Editor Vijay Pattni

Where do we begin?

Logically, where we left off. Yet this time, it is without our widely lauded Captain at the sails. Yes, after steering the ship that is FE News for well over a year at the helm, Jethro Marsh, the outgoing Editor, is stepping down and moving on to pastures new, unfortunately taking with him his inimitable and unique voice, knowledge and integrity. With a dignified salutation, we wish him the very best for the future.

This does, of course, mean that I will be stepping into the big man’s shoes as Editor of FE News; an appointment met with as much surprise as it was joy. With a colossal task on my hands, the very thought can become rather overwhelming. As with any new role, the expectation to perform and fear of failure undoubtedly swells up to launch an almighty assault on the senses.

Grass Roots

However, this unease is short-lived. To explain the reason for this, you must journey with me to the grass roots of journalism. You see, this publishing lark is a funny old game. Rightly so, it has been lambasted for salacious material and impetuous copy serving to singe the moral boundaries of acceptable human behaviour and provide a quick hit of sugar coated nonsense. It is indicative of a sickness evident in society where today’s news is already old; tomorrow’s world needs to download the latest scandal onto a mobile phone while listening to pirated music on their discounted MP3 players before skimming relentlessly through digital television’s vast chasms of game show channels and soft porn.

But I digress. As I have written before, journalism for me has always been an engine for information. For clear reports on the activities of the world in which we live; to provide information to the masses and engage them in reasoned debate. This notion of understanding is central to our position as a civilised society. For, you see, it is no surprise to suggest that to entertain arguments for and against, you must first procure the necessary information. Galloping headfirst into discussion using hearsay is a sure way to push mankind back into the Stone Age.

The Size Tens

It is this notion of information that fills me with hope as I put on these size ten editorial shoes and march out into the battleground of Further Education. For when I think about the acres of good work already being done within the system; the thousands rehabilitated, the thousands pursuing lasting qualifications and gaining exceptional skills, I no longer worry about the role.

So, this is my task. To give their story; to widen the awareness of the individuals and institutions making a difference; it is both natural and inherent: it is to simply be human. There are countless heroes working without thought of reward or glory, but for the sake of education, and I will endeavour to discover these unsung gallants of our system.

And so, as I take this new position, it is only left to wish our outgoing Editor a successful future. Here at FE News, we will push for the same.

Vijay Pattni, Editor

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