I hope Andrew Phillips doesn't read this, doesn't use the tools to research himself online or have one of his countless friends and colleagues e-mail him the link. He would truly hate the attention.
Andrew, the editor of The Gazette in Montreal, managed for his final day Friday. I am among many in wishing he weren't leaving the craft. He is one of those gentlemen of the newsroom, an editor's editor, who makes you feel better about the service you po
Andrew runs the newsroom for the only English-language paper and site in a bilingual media town that requires cosmopolitan, sophisticated journalism and yet patronizes some of North America's grittiest media. It is an enormous challenge in one of the world's most interesting cities, and after nearly five years, Andrew chose to step down.
When the craft loses an editor like him, we are significantly weakened. Canada is a demanding country geographically --- it spreads its population apart by hundreds of kilometres --- and a very stingy country physically --- it populates the country sparingly. The talent pool is thus small, and while the great journalists could (and often do) work anywhere in the world, they are a larger loss when they step down in Canada.
Andrew chose to edit here. He could have worked anywhere. He led the Gazette through enormous change --- and led is the right word, because he embraced and understood the necessity for change very early. The quality of his team reflected his high standards of selection and coaching. And the results were tremendous --- lots of awards and recent circulation improvements that indicated people were turning to the Gazette after years of turning away.
Andrew will, I hope, find a way to stay connected to journalism. He is not a particularly close colleague --- geography will do that to you in Canada --- but he is a particularly good role model for me and others. We learned a lot studying him, and we know he left newsrooms better than they were when he arrived.