Jack Schofield (journalist)

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Jack Schofield
Jack Schofield in 2009.png
Schofield in 2009
Born(1947-10-30)30 October 1947
Died31 March 2020(2020-03-31) (aged 72)

Jack Schofield (30 October 1947 – 31 March 2020)[1] was a British technology journalist.[2] He wrote the Ask Jack column for The Guardian[3] and preceding that covered technology for the newspaper from 1983 to 2010. He edited photography and computing periodicals and produced a number of books on photography and on computing, including The Darkroom Book (1981).

He died on 31 March 2020 at the age of 72, following a heart attack on 27 March.[4]


Schofield edited various photography magazines during the 1970s:[5] Photo Technique, Film Making, You & Your Camera (a partwork), and Zoom as well as the journal of the Royal Photographic Society, The Photographic Journal.[6]

In 1983, he started writing a weekly computer column in Futures Micro Guardian, from its first issue, in The Guardian.[5] He also became editor of the monthly Practical Computing[5] in 1984. In September 1985 he joined The Guardian's staff to launch Computer Guardian, the newspaper's weekly computer supplement.[5] He continued to cover technology for The Guardian until 2010 when he switched to solely writing the newspaper's Ask Jack column.[3][7]

Schofield also wrote on computing for Reuters[8] and blogged for ZDNet.[9][10] He produced a number of books on photography and on computing.[6]

Whilst working for The Guardian, Schofield published what he referred to as his Laws of Computing which sought to help people understand the consequences of decisions about their data:[11]

  1. Never put data into a program unless you can see exactly how to get it out[12]
  2. Data doesn't really exist unless you have two copies of it[13]
  3. The easier it is for you to access your data, the easier it is for someone else to access your data[11]


  • The Darkroom Book: the comprehensive step-by-step guide to processing your colour or black-and-white photographs. Schofield was consulting editor.
    • London: Spring, 1981, 1982. Feltham, UK: Newnes, 1983. ISBN 9780600353997.
    • New York: Ziff Davis, 1981. ISBN 9780871651068.
    • New York: Amphoto, 1981, 1985, 1987, 1988. ISBN 9780817437572.
  • Photographing People. Littlehampton Book Services, 1982. ISBN 978-0600384731.
  • Nude and Glamour Photography. You & Your Camera Photography Series. Glasgow: Collins, 1981, 1982. Schofield was consultant editor. ISBN 978-0004116396.
  • How Famous Photographers Work. New York: Amphoto, 1983. Edited by Schofield. ISBN 9780817440022.
  • Improve Your Camera Techniques. Feltham, UK: Newnes, 1985. Edited by Schofield. ISBN 9780600332657.
  • The Guardian Guide to Microcomputing. Oxford, UK; New York: Blackwell, 1985. Hardback, ISBN 978-0631143031. Paperback, ISBN 9780631143048. "A selection of the author's columns from the MicroFutures page of the Guardian, rewritten and revised".[14]
  • The Hutchinson Dictionary of Computing, Multimedia, and the Internet. By Schofield, Wendy M. Grossman and David Goul. Oxford, UK: Helicon, 1996, 1997. ISBN 978-1859861592.


  1. ^ Keegan, Victor (3 April 2020). "Jack Schofield obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 April 2020.
  2. ^ "Jack Schofield – Computer Editor @ The Guardian". Crunchbase. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Guardian hack fails to Ask Jack about IE popups". The Inquirer. Archived from the original on 24 December 2019. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  4. ^ Hern, Alex (1 April 2020). "Jack Schofield, Guardian's Ask Jack tech columnist, dies at 72". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  5. ^ a b c d Schofield, Jack; Arthur, Charles (16 December 2009). "Guardian technology section 1983-2009, by the people who edited it". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  6. ^ a b Schofield, Jack (21 February 2007). "Ars Technica reviews Adobe's Lightroom". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  7. ^ Schofield, Jack (18 January 2010). "What happened to Ask Jack?". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  8. ^ Editorial, Reuters. "Columns". Reuters. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  9. ^ Schofield, Jack. "Jack Schofield – Freelance blogger". ZDNet. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  10. ^ Jack Schofield, "Nominet Presents The Story of the Web: Celebrating 25 years of the World Wide Web". Nominet UK. Retrieved 27 June 2018
  11. ^ a b Schofield, Jack (9 July 2008). "Eureka! I've discovered the Third Law of computing". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 June 2021.
  12. ^ Schofield, Jack (24 July 2003). "Jack Schofield: Schofield's First Law of Computing". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 June 2021.
  13. ^ Schofield, Jack (14 February 2008). "Jack Schofield: Never assume your data is safe, even if it's online". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 June 2021.
  14. ^ Schofield, Jack. The Guardian guide to microcomputing. Oxford, UK; New York, NY, USA: Blackwell. ISBN 9780631143048. OCLC 11786409.

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