One of the SJA committee’s “new intake” in April, Jon Ryan says being sports editor of the Sunday Telegraph is one of the best jobs in journalism, talks of his Idi Amin assignment, his admiration for tennis legend Rod Laver and dreams of seeing Arsenal reaching another European Cup final.
Give a brief summary of your career to date, and your current work
Started as a teenager covering sport on weekly newspapers in west London, then moved to the Evening Post at Reading before working on the town’s news agency, which led to joining the Daily Mail as a news reporter. I then became – in no particular order – news editor, sports editor, features editor and assistant editor of the Mail on Sunday before arriving at one of the best jobs in journalism as sports editor of the Sunday Telegraph.
What was your first sports journalism assignment?
Covering Brentford for the Hounslow, Brentford and Chiswick Post when our football man was banned from the press box in 1970 something…
Piggott or Fallon?
What has been your most memorable or enjoyable assignment during your career?
Most memorable – a news story – the fall of Idi Amin (pictured left) in Uganda…and the most enjoyable…I guess.
If you did not work on sport, what do you think you might be doing?
Regretting not working on sport….
What sports event would you most like to attend as a spectator?
Arsenal’s 4-0 triumph in the Champions League final against Real Madrid in Athens…or wherever.
Which colleagues or managers have been most influential or helpful in your career, and how?
David English on the Daily Mail and Stewart Steven at the Mail on Sunday.
Dr Who: Tom Baker or David Tennant?
What’s the best sports movie you have seen?
Raging Bull for realism,The Arsenal Stadium Mystery for the best example of how footballers don’t make actors.
Name your greatest sporting hero, and why.
Rod Laver (pictured right). I saw him at Wimbledon on his return to Centre Court.
What’s your favourite TV programme.
Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Flintoff or Botham?
What changes in the business during your career have you most welcomed?
Computers, mobile phones, Starbucks, Dominic Lawson making me sports editor at the Sunday Telegraph…
…and what changes in the business do you really dislike?
Mixed zone interviews, the rise and control of agents, spam e-mails.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to enter the profession?
If at first you don’t succeed try, try and try again. And if that doesn’t work, keep trying.
Mourinho or Wenger?