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The passing of an icon

Nick led my training twice at Reuters, and the things he taught me have guided me to this day. Maybe most importantly - probably right after he popped the balloon and said there was an explosion in the street - was something along the lines of “You’re the only one here. Something’s just happened. You have to report it. Nobody’s coming to help.”


It was almost a quarter of a century ago, but I remember the conversations we had when he’d take us to the pub as much as what he said in the classroom.


He once related, at a moment when we were fawning over his experiences, that at parties he would avoid questions about where he’d been and the people he’d met by saying he worked for a news agency. But he would cut the “y” at the end, so it sounded like “I work for a newsagent’s.” He said then people would think he sold smokes and gum from behind a window and leave him alone.


Another time I asked him what the exit strategy was for wire journalists. He said it was to eventually be sitting on a deck with a nice view, pink gin in hand.


I hope he got to do that, and that somewhere, he’s doing it still. ■