Former ‘Chart’ adviser proud of graduate

Thom R. Hanrahan, guest columnist

Thom R. Hanrahan, guest columnist

Thom R. Hanrahan


Nathan Carter makes an impression.

The day I met Nathan, he was front-row, left-side of my newswriting class. He was in an army fatigue jacket and had a crazy look in his eye. Immediately after class, he told me he wanted to work for The Chart. He wanted to become a journalist.

I left the encounter thinking, “Uh oh.” Five years later, I left the encounter thinking, “Thank  God.”

Nathan is set to graduate Dec. 17. And I am ever so proud of him.

Nathan Carter is – in my 20-plus years working with and following The Chart – the hardest and most loyal worker I have encountered.  And Nathan, like many, is a son to me.

I have worked with Chart legends. Many were better writers, designers and editors. But none wanted it more or worked harder than Nathan Carter. Pete Rose once said a little hustle could make up for mistakes. 

Nathan hustled.

I admit that I rode Nathan’s ass a lot. 

I did it because I believed in him. 

If a Chart editor asked Nathan to run through a brick wall, he would ask, “How fast?” 

A lot of journalists could learn some things from Nathan. He has good news sense. He knows a story when he sees it. 

And with good, hard work, he will sniff it out. Nathan doesn’t let emotion mess up his job. 

Nathan makes mistakes, misses things – like we all do – and he takes them to heart. And then he works to get better. 

And Nathan never ignores a story that might be difficult or uncomfortable.

In his time on The Chart, Nathan has served in ever-increasing areas of responsibility. 

That young man in the army fatigue jacket became a journalist. 

Nathan never served as editor-in-chief. 

Maybe that is best. Nathan has been at his best when he is asking questions. 

When I was Chart adviser, Nathan sometimes gave stories a different perspective. 

His most-apparent trait was his work ethic. Next was his dedication. But perhaps his most important one was his willingness to ask questions. To  say, “Wait a minute, isn’t this a story?”

Nathan Carter makes an impression.

Sometimes people discount him. Sometimes people ignore him. 

Those are mistakes.  

That guy in the army jacket on the front row wanted to become a journalist. 

He did it. 

He busted his ass and did it. He never abandoned his principles. He never abandoned his friends. 

And he never stopped looking for a story, no matter who it made uncomfortable.

Nathan Carter makes an impression.

For five years, I was Nathan Carter’s adviser, teacher and mentor. 

He works hard, gives his best and doesn’t ignore the news.  Nathan is a journalist. And that makes me proud. 

Not of me — of him.  And I am honored to call him my friend. 

And when he crosses that stage, I plan to be there to shake his hand.