If you’re a regular reader of Starts at 60 (and I hope you are, because we work really hard to make helpful, interesting stories and videos!), you’ll be familiar with the fact that apart from the brilliant blogs we publish, we don’t use bylines.
Instead, we publish all our articles with a ‘Starts at 60’ byline, which is unlike most media sites that identify their in-house writers by name. You’ll have noticed that our stories say they are written by Starts at 60 Writers and you may have wondered why we’ve done things differently from the rest of the media.
There’s a good reason for this and it dates right back to the start of Starts at 60.
When Starts at 60 became too popular for me to be able to write all our stories, I looked for writers to join me — and I found them in our bloggers. It’s a group that has grown far larger than I could have ever imagined, to almost 500 people, 200 of whom write on regular pieces for your to read and exchange thoughts on.
We then became even more popular and demand for more stories, more often, grew. Probably not surprisingly, I struggled to find over-60s who wanted to work in a digital newsroom. Quite rightly, they didn’t feel that starting work at 4:30am, working full-time in a busy newsroom, then continuing to work into the evening if a big news story broke, sounded like much fun. Who would, after already having spent more than 40 years in the working world?! For the older writers I met, putting fingers to keyboard was for enjoyment and personal fulfilment, not hard yakka.
I absolutely understand their reasons, so instead I hired younger reporters who were enthusiastic about working in a newsroom, had already learned the many, many pieces of technology required, and were keen to learn how to write for a different — and very interesting — audience of Baby Boomers.
That bothered some of our readers, who felt the only people who should write for over-60s was over-60s themselves — and let me know, very vigorously, on Facebook. I understood how they felt, but as is often the case, what sounds great in theory just wasn’t practical when it came to hiring for tough newsroom jobs. I couldn’t risk a few angry readers taking out their frustration on writers who just wanted to do their best work for the Starts at 60 community.
That’s why I decided way back when that we would not use personal bylines.
However, this picture isn’t the Starts at 60 of today. You understand we are a small Australian business doing its absolute best to make a viable media and e-commerce business for over-60s — an audience that the big publishing outlets neglect because they’re confident you’re ‘rusted on’ and won’t leave them! We understand better than ever the different great writers can make to a media site — from celebrated experts to interesting, informed bloggers, right down to dedicated, specialist journalists.
I’m so proud of the team of reporters we have built over the past few years, which includes writers who have worked in some of the world’s biggest newspapers and news sites, and experts in particular fields of journalism and who want to work at Starts at 60 because you, our community, make it a fascinating place to hone their skills.
That’s why, from this week, Starts at 60 will be using bylines to identify our team of regular reporters. I hope you take the opportunity to get to know each reporter (which you can do by clicking on their byline on one of our articles to see a bit of information about them). You can connect with our team at any time by writing to our Community Editor, and I’d encourage you to share your thoughts on stories we write, let them know if there are topics you’d like to read more on, or if you have an issue you’d like investigated.
We’re here to be of service to you and this is just another step in making that service the highest quality it can be.