I WRITE this 25 years to the day since I first started with these newspapers.

On December 5, 1994, I pitched up at Albion Street, in the only smartish skirt I owned and my mum’s coat, nervous but keen to start my new job as a down-table sub-editor with the Evening Times.

As I reached this milestone last week, my younger colleagues (most of them!) asked about the biggest changes I have witnessed over the years. And there have been many.

For starters, since last week the Evening Times is now the Glasgow Times. The Sunday Herald, where I started as part of the launch team and worked for more than a decade, is also no more (am I a jinx?). But I’m thankful that the Sunday National has risen from those ashes and continues to thrive alongside sister paper The National.

There are the obvious technological advances, which in turn have had a knock-on effect on staffing levels. Layers of editorial process have become obsolete as our toolkit has advanced. There has been considerable progress in communications … to put it mildly! Mobile phones have revolutionised the way many industries operate, but for journalists this has been particularly ground-breaking.

Of course, nowadays the last thing a mobile is used for is a telephone conversation. Social media at our fingertips has brought a whole new dimension to news-gathering.

Cultural changes have also been dramatic. Thankfully, the booze and tobacco smoke have evaporated. Modern-day media professionals are far more discerning and pubs are eschewed at lunchtime in favour of the upmarket sandwich shops of the high street. Journalists are now more likely to die of a falafel allergy than liver failure.

But if I had to choose one thing that has brought the biggest change it has to be the internet.

I came across rather prescient Newsnight footage of Jeremy Paxman interviewing David Bowie.

This is how it went …

Bowie: “I don’t think we’ve even seen the tip of the iceberg. I think the potential of what the internet is going to do to society, both good and bad, is unimaginable. I think we’re actually on the cusp of something exhilarating and terrifying.”

Paxman (looking uncharacteristically youthful but with his characteristic arrogance): “It’s just a tool, though, isn’t it?”

Bowie: “No it’s not, no. No it’s an alien life form.”

Paxman: “It’s simply a different delivery system. You’re arguing about something more profound.”

Bowie: “Oh yes, I’m talking about the actual context and the state of content is going to be so different to anything that we can really envisage at the moment – where the interplay between the user and provider will be so simpatico it’s going to crush our ideas of what mediums are all about.”

That interview took place in 1999.

It was the same year we launched the Sunday Herald and our online content was central to our identity. We even puffed it as a “section” on our masthead.

But writers were worried. Why would we want to give our journalism away for free?

Well, the genie was out of the bottle. Over the years I’ve been in this industry, there have been various holy grails. There was the Attract Women Readers Holy Grail. And there was the Attract Young Readers Holy Grail. Both proved elusive. The latest ones are the Monetise Digital Content Holy Grail and the Increase Clicks And Traffic Holy Grail.

Meanwhile, there’s talk of print being dead. OK, circulation is way down on what it was. The National is the only paper bucking the trend of declining readership.

But I’m confident print is alive and well and will be here for a while yet. We just need to be canny as to how we deliver on multiple platforms.

Here’s to the next 25 years …