My first career was in television news as an assistant cameraman, supplemented with some photography, mostly magazine editorial, all of which was certainly more fun than working for a living. But there came a time when I was more interested in the news itself than the technicalities of how to film it. I wanted to be asking the questions and planning the stories so I retrained, doing a post-grad in journalism.
The second phase of my career started on a tiny local paper in north Merseyside, the Formby Times. From there I moved to the Southport Visitor before heading south for more lucrative magazine work. By chance I landed a job as deputy editor, and later editor, of a magazine called Electronic Imaging, which has largely defined the work that I’ve done since.
The magazine covered two disciplines – digital photography and printing. At that time, in the mid-90s digital photography was still in its infancy and many people doubted if it would ever amount to much. As editor of the only British magazine that was actively keen on digital meant that I had the chance to review all of these cameras. By 1999 most of the other camera mags had realised that digital would come to dominate photography and so I redefined Electronic Imaging to concentrate on the printing side of its brief.
I’m still passionate about photography, but these days I’m more interested in pictures than cameras, but you can find more on this on my other site nessancleary.net which deals with the photographic side of my life.
I mainly work as a freelance journalist, and as with most journalists, I’m passionate both about the business of journalism and the subject that I specialise in, commercial and industrial printing. While this website deals with the journalism side, I also publish another website at nessancleary.co.uk, called Graphics to Industrial Printing Journal, that covers the huge changes that the printing industry has seen from the early, agonisingly slow wide format printers, through to CTP and processless prepress all the way to the current high speed inkjet presses as well as industrial and 3D printing.
And my career has changed with it, from magazine editor to freelance journalist. For the most part I have tried to specialise in covering things that other people found difficult or uninteresting in an effort to stand out from the crowd. Over the years I have dealt with everything from prepress workflows, RIPs, MIS and W2P right through to all the various aspects of inserting and finishing. I’ve covered desktop design software, and even desktop printers, as well as the inner workings of offset and digital presses and the intricacies of variable data streams. I’ve also dealt with environmental issues, from recycling and energy saving to managing the various standards that now exist.
I’ve tried to stay ahead of the curve, to always look for the next thing but above all I’ve tried to write about things that interest me and that will be of value, both to the various magazines that I write for and the people that read this website.