The very best hacks I have worked with all shared certain attributes. They could spot bullshit at 100 yards. They cared about their readers and their colleagues, but not about their status.
They took their work seriously, but not themselves.
I am claiming none of these attributes for myself and all of them for Christina Earle, The Sun health features editor who has just died.
All of the nice things said about her in this Press Gazette piece are true.
A colleague writes: “She was a really lovely person, a really hard working journalist. She had huge respect for the people who she helped and featured in her pages. It was really journalism at its best: campaigning, intelligent but popular. She knew a lot about complicated science and treatments and made it all comprehensible and compelling for Sun readers. She had so much respect for the people in her case studies, you could hear it from the way she spoke to them on the phone.”
Indeed you could. By alerting people to health issues and possible treatments, Christina’s work saved hundreds, perhaps thousands of lives.
She was 31 years old.