published in the BBC's Prospero
staff newspaper, April 2014)
LIFETIME CAREER IN JOURNALISM
THOMAS "JIM" EDWARDS
Born: February 6, 1936
Died: January 14, 2014
Former BBC World
Service colleague IAN RICHARDSON pays this tribute...
Jim Edwards knew from
the moment he stepped into the newsroom of a local newspaper at Northwich
in Cheshire that journalism should be his lifetime career.
He felt he was among
his kind of people, even if at first this meant doing menial non-journalistic
jobs, along with covering Women's Institute meetings, weddings, funerals,
minor football matches and reviewing local amateur dramatic productions.
Indeed, when he was
later to join BBC World
Service (then called External Services), he regarded these lowly beginnings
as an essential part of a journalist's career development.
Jim, born James Thomas
Edwards on February 6, 1936, in Crewe, was educated at Cheshire's Sandbach
School. On the completion of his journalist indentures, he was called
up for National Service and posted to Cyprus as a Second Lieutenant with
the Royal Army Service Corps during the emergency in which Greeks on the
island sought union with Greece.
His National Service
over, Jim sought work abroad and spent three years in Kampala as Chief
Reporter on the main English-language newspaper, the Uganda Argus,
followed by two years with the Solomon
Islands Broadcasting Corporation.
Jim's eventual employment
in the newsroom at Bush House in 1968, initially on a short-term Summer
Relief contract, was as though a hand was being placed in a perfectly-fitting
He quickly established
himself as a fast, clear and accurate writer, dedicated to the World Service
ethos of fairness and balance. He admired and loved BBC World Service
with a passion and became one of the two Editors for the Day in the newsroom,
preceded by short reporting stints in Washington, the Middle East and
His career was interrupted
by a heart attack in 1984, and a few years later, he decided to retire
from the BBC. He then spent 10 years doing television and business training
at the K College in Kent.
Jim succumbed to cancer
on January 14, 2014, and was buried in the grounds of his historic local
church, All Saints,