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About the People Behind French News Online

Ken Pottinger - Editor
Ken Pottinger has been in publishing since he was a kid in South Africa. Starting with a local Scout magazine produced on one of the original mimeographs – not quite the 1889 Edison shown above (*) – his publishing career has progressed from Gestetner stencil duplicators, via offset lithograph the Rolls Royce of print, through faxing to the vastly different digital world of today.

At University he edited and often produced, the student newspaper, turning out late at night to cut & paste lithograph proofing sheets with make fits that occasionally left a piece lamentably poorly subbed!

Later he learnt the job properly, training and working on leading South African newspapers.

After moving to Europe the seductive smell of printers ink continued to haunt him. More editing and publishing assignments followed until a Tandy 2000 computer – thrust into his reluctant hands by a former UPI Lisbon bureau chief in 1984 – finally converted him to the transformational age of electronic data .

He has in his time, worked as a freelance correspondent for Associated Press, Newsweek, the London Daily and Sunday Telegraphs, the Christian Science Monitor and other media and as a regular contributor to the International Herald Tribune.

As a broadcaster he freelanced over the years as a BBC foreign correspondent and a stringer for half a dozen radio stations in South Africa, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, the US, Israel and Germany.

Ken also spent a year editing newswire copy for the English News Desk at Agence France Presse in Paris and covering student riots for the Daily Express, the Sunday Telegraph and the BBC. He has designed, edited, produced and digitally published a specialised business letter on Portugal, a newsletter for UK lawyers and now, based in south-west France, is helping develop French News Online.

With more than 40 years of journalism behind him, from the much lamented Mimeograph to today’s global digital Internet publishing world, Ken has run the gamut of printing and publishing.

Chris McCready - Webmaster
Chris has lived in France on and off for 5 years now.

He is something of a professional expat, having lived overseas for quite a large chunk of his life. It started early... Chris was an "airforce brat", his father being a pilot in the R.A.F. The family moved every two and a half years, so settling into a new locality became pretty much second nature for him. R.A.F airfields tend to be out of the way in the country, so from an early age Chris came to love the freedom that open spaces afford.

At the age of 10 the airforce, in their wisdom, decided to pack him and the whole family off to a war zone and, after several gallons of assorted serums and antibodies where injected and scratched into his left arm, Chris found himself in Singapore contemplating an armed guard on his school bus! Happy days ensued. Not for the up-country communists, or the South China Sea pirates, of course, but Chris thrived on his "island in the sun". With the bad guys in Malaya duly defeated the family returned to the UK, only to be packed off to Malta so that Chris's Dad could do to the Russians what he and others had done to the communist guerrillas in Malaya. Except the Russians never came. The Libyans did. So... back to the UK and then the time came to fly the nest.

Harold Wilson put paid to a hoped-for career as a fighter pilot (the labour Government axed the TSR2 programme!), so Chris embarked on a career in advertising and marketing in London, starting working life as a very junior copywriter. Various advertising agencies later and a stint running his own Photographic and Film location company (and to cut a fairly long story short), Chris eventually slid gently into his mid-life crisis and he upped sticks to Spain as soon as decency allowed after his divorce... like the next day! Only being dragged back to London when his meagre share of the divorce settlement ran out and he had to earn some more money.

The world had moved on and suddenly, no-one had a secretary anymore, typewriters did not exist and, with a bit of applied brain-power and an Apple Mac, just about anyone could write and design a brochure or an ad or two on their todd! Which Chris did.

And then someone invented the internet. Which meant given a roof over his head, a telephone line and a PC, Chris could work from home.... anywhere in the world. Which turned out to be rural France!

So Chris has learnt a bit since the summer of 2003, both about converting old buildings, PC's, the internet, and, of course, the fabulous country he, his partner and son now live in.

This expat seems to have come home, at last.

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