A film crew shadowed editors and reporters at The Herald for six months in the making of the documentary The Papers, which airs tonight on BBC One. Here, we introduce you to some of the cast of Episode 1.

READ MORE: The Papers: Why we let a BBC crew film The Herald newsroom

Donald Martin - Editor-in-chief

My role is editor-in-chief and editor of the Herald, Herald on Sunday and the Evening Times – but that extended remit probably says more about being a cheaper option than my ability!

I have been an editor now for almost 30 years at various titles across the UK and it is a unique privilege, particularly editing a national quality newspaper like The Herald and your home city’s evening title the Evening Times. I was brought up on both and have always had a great deal of affection for them.

HeraldScotland:

As an editor you are at the heart of major events, overseeing a quite brilliant team of journalists seeking to provide an insatiable audience with the content they want and can trust.

Yes, it is hard at times, and my job now, like all senior editorial executives in this industry, often involves difficult conversations and decisions, but it’s still a thrill.

I’ve witnessed tremendous change during my 35 years in newspapers – indeed it is the one constant – and have never failed to be surprised by the resilience of hacks, coping with new technologies and resultant streamlining and restructures. We are continually adapting to changing demands and increasing competition but we are still here reaching record audiences. 

Andy Clark - Assistant Editor, Herald on Sunday

I’ve been in journalism for more than 30 years and, honestly, I can’t imagine doing anything else. Currently, I’m in charge of The Herald’s Sunday edition, bringing together all aspects of the paper, which can be fun with the tiny team at my disposal.

It’s a frustrating, draining, tiring, stressful job. It can keep you up at night and ruin your holidays. 

READ MORE: BBC's The Papers: Behind the scenes at The Herald

But it’s also the most rewarding, creative, exciting thing. When a big story breaks, or when you cover an issue so well the country sits up and takes notice, it’s the best feeling in the world. I also love the people … the team spirit, the banter, the swearing (it’s one of the few workplaces where you DON’T need to mind your language!).

And after all this time, would I do it all again, knowing what I do now? Ask me five times throughout the week and I’ll give you five different answers.

Marianne Taylor - Features Writer and Columnist 

I wear a few different hats at The Herald – literary editor, columnist, features writer 
– which reflects the fact you need to be flexible in this game, able to turn your hand to different tasks. Especially when, like me, you’re a freelancer.

But variety is undoubtedly one of the best things about this job, not least because it has given me the chance to do so many different things over the last 20 years, including living and working in London and Berlin (where I pop up in the documentary, visiting former colleagues at Die Welt). Intellectually, it can be challenging, but the other side of that coin is fulfilment.

HeraldScotland: Herald & Times staff portraits.Marianne Taylor   Photograph by Colin Mearns5 April 2017

I can’t lie – I love being a journalist. I genuinely can’t think of anything else I’d rather do. It’s not an easy ride – the demands and deadlines are often ridiculous and overwhelming – and I could earn more money outside of newspapers. But the buzz of this job remains real and addictive. It sucks you in, and the adrenaline, banter and camaraderie keep you going. 

Will I get another 20 years out of this sometimes brutal industry? I can’t tell you how much I hope so.

John-Paul Holden - Deputy News Editor

I took on this role at The Herald in April last year. 

I manage the night newsdesk, meaning I have responsibility for ensuring the paper goes off to the printers by the deadline and in good shape. 

I sometimes call it the graveyard shift. At the sharp end, with only the night team left, the newsroom can be very quiet. Dinner is usually consumed in front of a computer screen and I gave up on a weekday social life a long time ago. But when a late story breaks, things get intense, frantic and exciting in the blink of an eye.

HeraldScotland:

Keeping cool is a must ... but I don’t always succeed.

Straddling the demands of print and digital coverage is perhaps the biggest challenge of all.

Times are undoubtedly tough. That said, bringing readers the news, particularly as the Brexit fiasco deepens, still feels like an immense privilege.
 
Catriona Stewart - Senior Reporter and Columnist

To say that every day is different would be a vast understatement.

I joined the Evening Times 10 years ago as a general news reporter. Since then my remit has widened and now I have responsibility for covering the south side of Glasgow, education, crime, courts and investigations. As a senior reporter, I also act on the news desk if our news editor is off.

HeraldScotland:

In addition, I write three columns a week: one for the Evening Times and two for The Herald. Juggling this can mean writing a column while at a crime scene or sitting on a grass verge at the side of the M8. It’s not uncommon to still be in the office late.

With such a wide range of responsibilities, there’s a constant sense of trying your best but never doing your best. 

This year’s highlight has to be travelling to Sierra Leone to write about women’s rights, a trip I did in my own time but a chance I wouldn’t have had without my link to the Evening Times. A social life falls by the wayside but would I change it? 
I would not.

Mark Eadie - Assistant Editor

Yes, that’s me in the trailer of The Papers looking typically stressed and holding my head in my hands. As one crisis is solved another will always appear. I exaggerate a little, of course, but by its very nature “news” is unpredictable, meaning best-laid plans often crumble in an instant.

As head of The Herald’s production it’s my job to make sure all the elements – words, pictures and graphics – come together on the page in as presentable and sellable form as possible. 

HeraldScotland:

I’ve been at The Herald for five years, having previously cut my teeth at our arch-rivals in Edinburgh for 18 years. On bad days, working in a newspaper can feel like you’re slogging away on the production line of a sausage factory for words, 
but on good days (ie big breaking stories) you really do feel as though your contribution, however small, has made a difference. 

Switching off after work is the biggest challenge. As I’m driving home in the wee small hours, “the fear” can often grip you – have I misspelt a word on the splash headline, are the puzzles correct? It can play havoc with your nervous system. In fact, hang on, I’d better check one last time.

Kirsty Anderson - Photographer

‘Oh, I was expecting a man’ is a less common greeting now than it was back when I started out nearly 20 years ago. 

As a photographer, I’ve seen a massive change in technology and workload demands but it’s been hugely enjoyable, life-changing and taken me around the world.  

I’ve also got to know the amazing individuals I can call my colleagues and friends. The camaraderie is one of the things that has kept me going through rough times.

HeraldScotland:

I’ve worked with some of the best, funniest and talented of journalists.

Another of the great privileges of being a photographer is being invited into people’s lives and represent their stories. 

From potholes to politicians there’s never a moment the same as the last and, fingers crossed, there will be many more.

  • Episode 1 of The Papers airs tonight at 9pm