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SlatteryIf it weren’t for my former editor, Thomas J. Slattery, I would not be writing this blog today. Not only did Tom encourage journalists to become experts on their beats, he also wanted us to be opinion leaders–fixtures within specific readership communities.

Anyone can write news, he felt. What would distinguish National Underwriter among our diverse audiences was the loud voice we would project, with high-profile columnists helping put the news and trends into perspective.

He never shied away from controversy in his editorials, and he insisted we be equally bold in our columns, counting on us to challenge readers to think—to tell them not just what they wanted to hear, but what we felt they needed to hear.

Tom passed away on May 14 at the age of 68, following respiratory failure. (For his obituary, see http://bit.ly/aBbcV9). He died way too early, but his life’s work is being carried on here at NU, even among those who never knew him, because Tom changed the way this company approached journalism forever.

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