Tributes have been paid to a lifelong local newspaper journalist described as "everything that’s best about the local press".
John Adams, former news editor of Archant Herts & Cambs weekly paper The Comet, died on 9 April aged 65.
He had been diagnosed with cancer in November 2010 and retired earlier this year after 46 years of work with Archant and its predecessors. Of which 37 were spent as news editor.
Mr Adams remained with the Stevenage-based Comet group of titles through successive editors and changes of ownership guiding junior reporters through their formative years and helping the paper to a number of successes, including the award for Free Newspaper of the Year.
Comet editor Darren Isted said: “John was the most influential journalist in this area and was everything that’s best about the local press.
“His loss is felt by all in the media family but I have lost a great colleague and friend. Even now I want to shout out his name and ask the spelling of a road name and in which town or village it is situated. John would know, he always did and he was never wrong.
“The greatest tribute one can pay to John is that, despite severe ill health in the past year, he has shown strength and courage which have made him a role model for all.”
North East Hertfordshire MP Oliver Heald said: “I am very sorry to hear about John, who was an old friend and a very fine journalist. He always wrote a very truthful and well honed story and was a marvellous news editor for the Comet. He will be missed by all his friends in Comet country. He battled bravely against his illness for some years and everybody admired his courage. I send my very best wishes to his family and will be thinking of them at this sad time.”
Stevenage Borough Council leader Sharon Taylor said: “He’s made a huge contribution to making our local media a real feature of the community and I think it’s terribly sad that now he’s just taken a step back for a well-earned rest and has died so suddenly.”
Former colleague Phil Morey said: “He was a man out of the very top drawer, a true gentleman, and a consummate journalist. He will be sorely missed.”