Jack Waterford to leave The Canberra Times

Jack Waterford to leave The Canberra Times

Thursday April 30 marks the end of an era for The Canberra Times, and the beginning of a new chapter for its longest-serving journalist.

Editor-at-large Jack Waterford will leave the national capital's daily newspaper and leading news website on April 30 after 43 years.

Jack Waterford will leave The Canberra Times after 43 years.

Jack Waterford will leave The Canberra Times after 43 years. Credit:Rohan Thomson

Waterford said he felt the time was right to explore life beyond the daily news cycle of headlines and deadlines.

"Having recently acquired a few fresh grandchildren I have decided to step back and enjoy some of the other things life has to offer while still maintaining an interest in politics and the people of Canberra," he said.

Jack Waterford in 1976 as a law reporter.

Jack Waterford in 1976 as a law reporter.

Waterford will continue his association with The Canberra Times by writing a weekly column as a freelance contributor.

Joining the newspaper as a copy boy in February 1972, Waterford's first role as a junior reporter was on the police round.

He went on to report from the courts and federal parliament. Over the years he has also written on industrial relations, ACT politics and planning, indigenous affairs and the public service.

In 1985 Waterford received the prestigious Graham Perkin Australian Journalist of the Year award for his pioneering work on accessing government documents through Freedom of Information legislation.

He rose through the ranks of the editorial department to the position of editor, in 1995, and editor-in-chief, in 2001. He has been editor-at-large since 2006.

In 2007 he was made a Member of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day Honours for his services to journalism and named Canberra Citizen of the Year.

"It has been a privilege to work for such an intelligent, discerning and, so far as I have been concerned, patient audience," Waterford said.

Editorial director of Fairfax Media's Australian Community Media division Rod Quinn paid tribute to Waterford's commitment to The Canberra Times, and to journalism.

"Jack has made an enormous contribution to journalism, to The Canberra Times and through it to the wider Canberra community," Quinn said.

"He has held politicians and bureaucrats to account, delighted and provoked readers and inspired his colleagues. He will be missed in the newsroom.

"Although he will no longer be an employee of The Canberra Times, we are delighted that Jack's proud association with the masthead will continue on a freelance basis."