Paul Casciato, a lifestyle news editor for Europe, the Middle East and Africa for Reuters, sent out the following farewell message on Thursday:
Farewell and good luck. I shall miss you all.
I remember the great Nick Moore telling me once: “There are those who are of Reuters and those who are with Reuters.” I strived to be the former and I hope I have earned the honour. It has been the best 22 years of my life working with so many talented, fun and outrageous characters and I wish you well.
Today is my last day and I leave much as I arrived — in awe of the amazing people who have dedicated their lives to shining a light on the dark corners of humanity and laughing at the absurd hilarity of the world around us. The Baron has provided me with a life of adventure and fulfilment that few companies can offer, even in these days of modern travel.
I’ve covered the Rolling Stones, met the queen and then Johnny Rotten, countless presidents, prime ministers and other notorious folk, reported from the Olympics, scaled one of the world’s biggest mountains, landed sitting backwards on aircraft carriers in the blinding sunlight of the Gulf, shivered all night on a rooftop overlooking Israeli barricades in the West Bank, danced wildly on the last holiday dedicated to one of Africa’s “Big Men”, cowered under a Balkan artillery barrage and held back the tears in the Iraqi desert as a thin, 50-something POW told me how he had marched out to face the world’s only superpower in his battered green plastic flip flops and then surrendered when nearly everyone around him was dead.
There are other memories, but much fewer than the many of you who transported me during my time on the World Desk and as EMEA ents & lifestyle editor to your far-flung postings. I shall miss your phone calls, emails and screentops, but mostly your brilliant stories, your kindness, humour, camaraderie and friendship. Many of the bravest and best of you are still out there. Take care. Lately I could tell that my time here was coming to an end.
I first took an interest in journalism after reading Evelyn Waugh’s “Scoop” in 1991. Despite the satire, the life of a “newsman” seemed to me a perfect ruse to escape the dreaded prospect of law school and settling down to “your career” as my parents put it.
Two things struck me with some finality in the last year.
1. I finally impressed my father. After years of phoning this engineer, inventor, businessman and former maths and physics academic who designed and built the first computer in Canada to impress him with my latest exploit I finally got a different response to the standard monotone: “That’s nice” reply. He got excited because I had interviewed Kip Thorne and met Stephen Hawking, gods of the maths and physics world.
2. One of Evelyn Waugh’s great granddaughters came to do work experience with me for a week or two. Every day I asked her if she had brought her “cleft sticks” with her and she looked at me as if I had three heads. Finally, on the next to last day I said: “You know, cleft sticks, ‘Scoop’? “Oh that,” she replied looking somewhat sheepish. “I’ve never read it.”
Casciato has been a correspondent and editor for Reuters since 1992. He has reported and edited a wide range of political, general news and business stories that run the gamut from war to wage inflation. He has reported from Toronto, New York, London, Dublin, Jerusalem, the West Bank, Kenya, Tanzania, Washington, the Balkans, Kuwait, Bahrain and Iraq.