Our ‘meet the journo’ feature allows you to meet the faces behind the names and get to know the journalists, editors and key influencers at some of Yorkshire leading publications!
This month, we spoke to Ian Leech, editor at Yorkshire Business Insider who talked about moving back to Yorkshire, who inspires him the most and what makes a great story!
Name: Ian Leech
Publication: Yorkshire Business Insider
Your Twitter account: @ianleechinsider
How did your career in journalism unfold?
I started working life in commercial insurance in Leeds in the late 80s. I had great fun but it was a bit boring. I’d always had an interest in current affairs since I was a young kid – my parents thought it a bit odd. And I’d always liked writing so it seemed a logical choice. After stints on local newspapers in Cheshire and South London I moved to the Daily Mail foreign desk in London where I worked for 14 years. I relocated back to Yorkshire three years ago when I took the Business Editor’s job with Insider. In January 2017 I was appointed Editor.
Who inspires you the most?
The businesses and business owners that I meet are fabulous. Rarely do I leave an interview not inspired. I have massive respect for those people that genuinely build their business from nothing. We have some great entrepreneurs here in Yorkshire. It is very important to me that Insider represents Yorkshire and the Humber in its entirety and I enjoy traversing the region. Another inspiration for me is that Insider wants to be a voice to raise the economic prospects for the north generally.
What kind of stories particularly interest you?
Ones on successful businesses. Ones that are showing our region in a great light through innovation, technology, leadership, or commercialism.
What’s the best story you’ve ever received?
Too many to mention. But a good picture does give a story the wow factor. An example being last week’s image of the proposed INC development in Leeds by the Parklane Group. That is a jaw dropping building if it comes off.
What are some of your goals for the future?
To continue raising Insider’s readership in Yorkshire. The magazine is now read by 36,000, most of whom are business owners and directors. And also to continue our excellent reputation for business events such as the networking breakfasts, awards dinners and roundtables.
What are some common myths or challenges about a career in journalism?
It is a very different career to when I started, particularly newspapers. But I absolutely believe there is a need for local news and business news. People need to be informed. Be prepared for hard work , but it is rewarding.
What do you believe makes a great story?
One that has people talking about it. It helps if you get it before your rivals. It still has to be well written too though to draw the reader in.
What kind of publications do you enjoy reading?
I read the local press and websites as well as national business news. Anything else is a bonus for a dad in a busy job!
How do you cope with the stress of tight deadlines?
Put more hours in!
Outside of work, what do you like to do in your spare time?
I enjoy keeping fit. My knees aren’t what they were so I’m restricted to swimming now. I enjoy watching my football club Huddersfield Town. And even after three years back here, as a family we are like tourists and love exploring the region.
Finally, what piece of advice would you give to people wanting to pitch their business to you?
Have a business plan very well prepared. Know your aims and what your edge is. And show that you believe in it. Because if you don’t, who else will?
Special thanks to Ian for getting involved in our ‘Meet the journo’ feature! We’ll be back next month with another interview with a leading Yorkshire journalist.