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Note to all: Follow his lead!

Nick Moore was a high calibre journalist with many professional skills and other attributes, as ex-colleagues have already amply documented. His CV perfectly demonstrates that a binary career choice of either general news or econ was not for him. As a seasoned allrounder he deserves credit as the best of all the early non-binary Reuter journalists.


I'd like to highlight just one of his skills which impressed me mightily - namely lead writing at G7 summits. This skill is very under-appreciated and often overlooked… perhaps because Nick made it look so easy. In fact lead writing is probably a skill he himself didn't know he had.


During the 1990s he and I were part of G7 summit teams. His role was to park himself in our editorial bunker and pound out a trunk media story, with constant updates throughout the summits. To this end he needed to follow our outgoing news file in close detail. In addition he monitored local press and broadcaster coverage. He also ploughed through the various handouts such as books and brochures detailing the history of the host country, the host city and its summit conference centre. From time to time he broke cover and strode outside to check on the weather and on the crowds with their often provocative shouts and banners. At times he even snatched a quick chat with Reuters photographers to see if their activities could throw up any interesting anecdotes. Nick knew that even a rattling good trunk yarn needed leavening colour and atmosphere to make it a compelling read.


So, having soaked up all the news and atmosphere to hand, he rapidly prioritised his material and composed perfect resumés of all action to date. Such one-stop shops must have made life so simple for newspaper and broadcaster copy tasters who thus didn't need to slog through the full Reuter file to keep on top of key developments. Although lead writing is not a skill which often commands comment, it ranks in the hands of a maestro such as Nick among the top performances of any summit team. ■