When the internet was in it’s infancy and daily newspapers were what I call wallpaper format, concerning size, I met a larger than life reporter called Richard Batson. I quickly recognized his unique style of writing and didn’t need to refer to credits to know it was his piece.
In the days of monochrome photographs journalistic skill added colour to articles and it required masters in their field to bring a story to life. Richard’s contribution to North Norfolk and East Anglia in general has been one of vital importance.
Our local press continues to be a shining light for the many wonderful events in our region and a source of information to the masses. Richard has been a pioneer in honest, accurate reporting that never lacked compassion, humour and vibrancy.
Most of all his approachability made him a friend to many and it requires a certain breed of journalist to put their pens down and just listen when it came to sensitive, personal matters.
In a world of sensationalism and sometimes not so witty headlines, Richard stood firm in saying it as it is and prided himself in getting it right.
Many moons ago, when my brothers and I started touring and entered the recording studio the North Norfolk News was the main window of our progression. I recall that first headline, created by Richards predecessor, David Blyth (Known to many in the industry as, ‘Budgie’) ‘Music and Moussaka’ and so it was written and immortalized forever more.
When Richard took over the post, little did he know he’d be infested by my many press releases and phone calls spanning over 25 years.
We couldn’t have done it without Richards support, however, after reading his first Constantia Brothers review, when we performed at Cromer Pavilion theatre, I knew he was honest. “Great musical abilities, however, there were a few technical problems”
I immediately picked up the phone the following morning and congratulated him for his excellent journalism, it was the start of a great friendship. Long may it continue.
I wish Richard well in his new endeavours and sincerely hope we will keep in touch.