Thursday, 01 February 2018 09:43

 Auckland Star's

Pat Booth

Incarnated

Ed Asner

Newspaperman

The death of Pat Booth brings to a sharp end the era of the crusading human interest newspaperman.

Pat Booth who has died at the age of 88 was the last practising journalist anywhere in the world to have enjoyed a career that spanned the age in which newspapers flourished unrivalled all the way through to the social networking fractured picture of today.

In his acceptance speech on receiving at Government House the National Press Club’s Lifetime Achievement Award he recalled this transition.

“I came home brimming with a story that I wanted to tell my family. Instead they told me about it.”

They had heard it over the radio.

Pat Booth devoted most of his working life to the Auckland Star, rising to become editor.

During this tour he demonstrated a tenacity that saw him following stories wherever they went for as long as it took, most notably the Arthur Allan Thomas miscarriage of justice.

He bore in aspect and manner an uncanny resemblance to the television news boss played by Ed Asner, by coincidence in real life also an ardent advocate of human causes and who spoke to the National Press Club close to the time when Pat Booth received his award under the aegis of Governor General Dame Sylvia Cartwright.

Pat Booth in his ascent to becoming the nation’s pre-eminent journalist and a household name defied the prevailing belief that journalists had to work outside New Zealand in order to be successful in it.

In writing his last column three years before his death, he also stood in sharp contrast to the industry’s prevailing youth emphasis.