I have spent a lot of time editing and commissioning articles from people, most recently as the Jewish Chronicle’s Comment and Letters editor. I helped people from charities, who wanted to promote their organisation but didn’t know how best to tell their stories. Very often the best columns have come out of wooing writers who might not otherwise have appeared in the paper – people such as Toby Young or Giles Fraser. But just as enjoyable was showcasing writers who were not famous but whose voices rang a bell with readers.
In September 2014 I edited, from scratch, the first Rosh Hashanah colour magazine published by the Jewish Chronicle. All the content of the 94-page publication, RH Magazine, was conceived, edited and commissioned by me, drawing on a pool of writing colleagues, with art work done in co-operation with the paper’s art department.
I ran the Comment section of the Jewish Chronicle from July 2013 to September 2014. I was responsible for the weekly commissioning and editing of four regular columns from a sequence of rota columnists, and for the commissioning, generating and editing of four additional columns from outside contributors.
This is the job that never stops. Just when you think your weekend is free, somebody dies or gets shot or a war breaks out; and all your carefully laid plans for pages have to be thrown out of the window so that you start again.