Who we are

This is the first in a series of fortnightly “profiles” of people living in  North West Sheffield. Although NWS News Online has a couple of people already lined up for future pieces, we thought it unfair not to put “one of our own” on the spot first.

So … My name is Russell Cavanagh, and I’m publisher and editor of NWS News Online. A youthful 48 years old (just!!), I live near Stannington.

What do you like most about your job?
I love finding out what’s happening around the area, speaking to people and sharing information that’s useful or interesting. Pot of fresh black coffee on in the morning with laptop, phone and notepad all warming up and (hopefully) ready for the unexpected. Being a self-publishing journalist and photographer is a real joy.

Best/Worst day?
Best day was last week when I went to the Digital Economy Bill unconference at the Showroom. So many people were already aware of NWS News and had kind comments. Everyone was passionate about digital and social media – one of whom assured me that I’m now a bona-fide geek! – and this enthusiasm has rubbed off on me seriously.

Too early to have had a worst day. NWS only started at the beginning of January. Pleased that we’re due to have had over 3,000 page views in our first month – and this is our 100th post! – without any concerted “marketing” of the site.

Who is or was the most important influence in your life?
My mother, I guess. A working-class Scot born in 1925, she had to act as “mother” to her own five sisters and one brother during and after WW2. She was self-educated, avidly reading the likes of Solzhenitsyn, Dostoyevsky and countless political biographies. She almost certainly kindled my drive for social justice that remains to this day. A remarkable woman who also pushed me into a musical “career” that has lasted since the age of 11.

Favourite gadget?
Apart from my new Ubuntu-powered Vaio? My Fujifilm S200EXR camera (used to take many of the pics on this site).

Favourite media?
The internet is the place for me. I haven’t really watched television since 1994; so its web, radio, DVD and cinema (in that order).

Current or recent film you’d like to see?
Men who stare at goats” was hilarious. The new Sherlock Holmes movie is tempting (but I’m rather fond of the Basil Rathbone era).

What music are you listening to at the moment?
Mostly The Long Lost and stuff by Steve Reich.

What makes you smile?
Hearing from my son and chatting with friends into the wee small hours (with red wine in plentiful supply).

What would you most like to put right in this world?
An end to mainstream media spoon-feeding us paranoia and mindless celebrity culture; to be replaced with grassroots democracy (talking to each other!) putting politicians into their proper role of serving society rather than ruling over us using fear.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Doing pretty much the same, though probably running hard to keep up with changes in technology that surely will come.

  • (Next “Who We Are” profile in about a fortnight!)
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