Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Farewell to a friend

The tributes continue to pour in for our colleague and friend Tom Murray.

Tom headed operations out at our sister paper, the Daily Local News. But his heart never wandered far from Delco.

He grew up here and was a proud St. James High grad.

I had forgotten that Tom actually got his start in the business covering some high school sports events as a stringer for the Daily Times. I had to smile at the thought.

It was exactly how I got into the business. After arriving back on the East Coast with my freshly minted journalism degree from the University of Colorado (if you have a couple of hours I'll try to explain how I wound up out there), I got my first journalism gig as a "correspondent" for the Record in Coatesville.

Don't let the title fool you. There wasn't a lot of prestige in it. I was covering some high school contests, while also doing some night meetings for news.

You got paid by the story. There were no benefits, other than the strange thrill of seeing your name in print. In the business we call them bylines.

Once you're hooked, there is no going back.

Tom Murray knew that better than most. He understood how that kind of coverage, having a face at all those municipal meetings, contributed to a newspaper's "brand." Those stringers in many instances became the eyes and ears - as well as the face - of the newspaper in the community. That's just one of the reasons I will dearly miss my friend.

Rest well, Tom.

You can read more about the life of an old-time newsman who never shied away from changing with the times here.

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