Clarke Thomas was a man of great curiosity and endless compassion who helped many a young news professional at the Post-Gazette learn how to behave ("Clarke M. Thomas: Longtime PG Editorial Writer and Senior Editor," Feb. 23 news obituary). For Clarke, doing news was only part of it. He also showed us how to be good citizens, good family members and good colleagues in the newsroom.
I was a naive, impulsive 22-year-old when Clarke first took me aside and helped me understand my responsibilities as a reporter. I've never forgotten how simple and natural he made it seem to step outside the daily deadline rush and think through the consequences of a news story. He helped many of us understand that our stories would have impact in the communities and among the people and organizations involved in our reports.
"Getting the story" was never enough for Clarke. He taught that, in fairness, we were required to also "get the issue."
The writer was a Post-Gazette staff writer from 1969 to 1977.