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Old-school journalist with forward-looking focus: That was Nick White | Opinion

Old-school journalist with forward-looking focus: That was Nick White | Opinion

I can research and write this column from my house, on my laptop, and publish it to FLORIDA TODAY’s website. If need be, I can write it and post it from my iPhone.

And yet, decades before I got my first Tandy laptop as a fledgling journalist in 1990, people like Nicholas “Nick” White were covering critical, life-changing stories with speed and conviction — with no internet. And on manual typewriters.

I thought about all that after Nick’s family reached out to tell me about his passing. An original employee of Cocoa TODAY in 1966 and the editorial page editor from 1969 until 1993 at what is now FLORIDA TODAY, he died Feb. 20 at age 87.

I never met Nick, who, from everything I’ve heard about him over the years and a chat with his son, Gary, was an old-school journalist with a forward-looking focus.

All the same, I owe a debt of gratitude to journalists like him, for their dogged sense of responsibility to journalism that reflects the needs of the real people who live in their communities.

A longtime Titusville resident, Nick died with family at his side, at St. Francis Reflections Lifestage Care’s Edward M. Poe Hospice. He had endured pneumonia for several weeks, compounded by Parkinson’s disease and congestive heart failure.

Like his dad before him, Gary White of the Lakeland Ledger is a reporter.

Nick, Gary told me, grew up in Jacksonville and served in the U.S. Navy aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ticonderoga.

We’ll let Nick tell you about how and why he landed in journalism, through a bio he wrote years ago.

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