Our reluctant goodbye to a valued reporter

Posted 3/14/24

I have sad news. The Chestnut Hill Local is losing Tom Beck. 

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Our reluctant goodbye to a valued reporter


I have sad news. The Chestnut Hill Local is losing Tom Beck. 

After more than two years of reporting on various issues of concern for Northwest Philadelphia, helping our paper earn statewide recognition for excellence, he is leaving journalism to pursue a career in the building trades. 

We wish him well, of course, though it is with some reluctance, as we also wish for the days when a career in this industry held more promise for a young man with his kind of talent. The fact is that he will make more money and enjoy more job stability as a welder than he is likely to do as a journalist. That’s just the reality of our business these days. 

I now have to find someone who can fill his shoes. And that will be a difficult task indeed. After more than two years in my own job, I have learned that reporters like him are hard to find. Not only can he turn in a charming feature story, he also has a nose for hard news – and knows how to ask all the right questions and doggedly pursue the answers.

Tom has done all this for The Local – and earned the trust of our readers in the process. During last year’s contentious primary campaign for City Council, for instance, he aggressively reported the facts and the issues, and held both candidates equally accountable for their positions and their track record. His coverage of development in our communities, such as his ongoing attention to the politics that have stymied progress on the Germantown YWCA has been informed, thorough, and accurate. His treatment of quality-of-life issues that concern our readers, like the disputes about noise at the Water Tower pickleball courts, delivered the facts in a fair yet warmhearted way. 

Last, but certainly not least, Tom has been a great partner and a pleasure to work with. He’s done everything he said he would do. He’s been cheerful while juggling multiple stories, even when one more – or two – were added to the list. And I’ve never known him to say an untrue thing. 

So goodbye, Tom, and good luck. We miss you already. 

Carla Robinson


If you’re interested in joining the Chestnut Hill Local news team, whether it's as a full-time reporter or an occasional contributor, contact me at Carla@chestnuthilllocal.com. We are determined to produce high-quality journalism that makes a difference in our communities – and we’d appreciate your help.