Colin Grant is Group Editor-in-Chief of Herts & Essex Newspapers. He began his career in journalism as a trainee reporter in West London before going on to refine and hone his craft in the roles of Sports Editor, Chief Sub Editor and as Editor of both weekly and evening titles. He was Editor of the Cambridge Evening News for six years. Throughout this time, he has maintained a consistent belief in the importance of the local community and the role that a local newspaper can play within it. As Editor at Cambridge, he launched the newspaper's Community Awards, to honour and reward work carried out by local people in the service of their community. Previously, he was Editor of the Northamptonshire Evening Telegraph, during which time it was voted the country's Community Newspaper of the Year in the regional press. Colin has been a staunch supporter of Anglia Ruskin, working on a number of projects and events, and promoting our University's mission to provide courses that prepare students for the rigours of professional life.
His current role at Herts & Essex Newspapers sees him heading up the editorial operation for a series of ten weekly titles.
In 2002 Colin Grant was awarded an Honorary Master of Arts.
"The Senate of Anglia Polytechnic University has great pleasure in recommending the award of an Honorary Master of Arts Degree to Colin Grant, Editor of the Cambridge Evening News, journalist extra-ordinaire, sports enthusiast and still, the London Chairman of Sheffield Wednesday (football) Supporters Club!
Today we honour Colin, who is the Group Editor of Cambridge Newspapers, a series of local community newspapers in which he has fully supported a wide range of APU's activities; through his leadership in encouraging his staff to cover, positively, the University's major events and projects and wherein Colin has supported APU's mission: to extend access, to provide courses that prepare students for the world of work and to publicize APU as the university of choice for students within the Cambridge Evening News catchment area.
Colin was born in Hounslow, London and attended Spring Grove Grammar School where he was, above all, a very keen sportsman. However, he had always wanted to be a journalist, writing booklets and papers for his own personal interest as a schoolboy and first applying to his local newspaper as a part time press professional, at the tender age of sixteen! Although in the sixth form he studied history, in which he continues to have a genuine interest to this day, he also studied the subjects which were to prove invaluable in his chosen career, of typing and short hand (although it is possible that the fact that the other eleven pupils in these classes were all girls, may have influenced his choice of subjects at A-level).
It was in 1971 that Colin applied for his first full-time, professional post as a Trainee Reporter on West London's Middlesex County Times. He was very surprised on arriving home the next Sunday afternoon after his regular football playing, to be advised by his parents that Eddy Lucas (the Editor) had made a home visit in connection with his job application and was waiting to see him in the sitting room, having already had a chat with his parents. After all that, he got the job!
His early tasks revolved around council meetings and the law courts but, because of his enthusiasm, also football. By the grand old age of 21 he had risen to become Sports Editor then, after three years, moved on to be Sports Editor at the Acton Gazette. After two years here, he was approached about becoming Deputy Sports Editor on the West London Evening Mail and stayed there for two years. He was then invited by his previous newspaper at Acton, to return as Chief Sub-Editor with the opportunity of his first real taste of management experience. After a further two years, there followed a career leap to Deputy Editor at the North Herts Gazette series of newspapers at Hitchin, where Colin was second-in-command of a series of seven titles. He rose to become Editor/Publisher of these publications and then, at the end of 1989, Colin was offered the job of Editor on the Northamptonshire Evening Telegraph based in Kettering, which was the parent company EMAP's biggest-selling newspaper. He was here for six years, during which time the newspaper was voted the "UK's community newspaper of the year."
Colin was then approached to become Head of Training for the whole EMAP company and fulfilled this role for three years. However, his first love is editing newspapers and late in 1998 he was offered the post as Editor of the Cambridge Evening News, which publishes five editions each day and sells an average of 40,000 copies a night. Colin is also Group Editor of Cambridge Newspapers, which includes the company's ten weekly titles.
He believes that provincial newspapers should be focussed "on and for" the community they serve and that the old adage of local names and faces selling newspapers is still very much the case. The Cambridge Evening News is well-known for its campaigns, as with its call for improvements to the overloaded A14 main road, which saw 10,000 readers signing its petition and the CEN New Year's Honours Awards for "local heroes". Both these events generating community support, "cementing relations within the community, acting as a social glue, bringing cohesion and integrity to society".
This most gifted journalist is a friend to the business, the educational and the social communities within this region, which he informs and entertains through Cambridge Newspapers' titles and has consistently taken a keen interest in, and been an active supporter of, this University.
It is for these reasons, therefore, that I invite you, Vice-Chancellor, to confer on Colin Grant, an Honorary Master of Arts degree of this University."