Barney Gallagher's contributions to the field of journalism will continue beyond the more than 70 years he spent reporting on the news in Haverhill.
Gallagher, who died last month at the age of 90, will continue to be remembered for the consummate photographer, journalist, patriot, friend and family man that he was.
In recognition of his efforts in journalism and civic affairs, The Eagle-Tribune has renamed its annual $750 scholarship to Northern Essex Community College as the Barney Gallagher Journalism Scholarship Award.
Formerly a $500 award given by The Haverhill Gazette, the amount was increased this year to $750 by Al Getler, publisher of The Eagle-Tribune. Getler also renamed the award for Gallagher, in recognition of his contributions to both newspapers, where he was a reporter, photographer, editor and columnist.
"Barney leaves a legacy behind as a true on-the-street reporter," Getler said. "You don't get great stories sitting at your desk on the phone staring at a screen. The best journalists are there in the middle of it all asking why or why not."
Many budding reporters who worked under Gallagher's tutelage would get the same message: "There's no news in the newsroom," Gallagher would say.
He was always on the job, even after work and on days off. His police scanner at his side, Gallagher would dash out the door at the first sign of trouble.
Veteran firefighters still talk about his approach to photographing scenes of tragedies. They trusted he would get the kinds of shots that would tell the story in a compelling way, while avoiding any gruesome details.
"Barney most likely went home smelling like the smoky fires he covered some days," Getler said. "We are naming this award after him because we want young writers today to understand that seeing a video and writing about it isn't reporting. But choking on the same smoke that firefighters and victims do as you gather details for the story, well, that is what a reporter does. That is what Barney did throughout his career."
Jean Poth, vice president of institutional advancement and executive director of the NECC Foundation, said the college is reviewing applications and plans to name the first recipient of the Barney Gallagher scholarship award this month or next. Qualified applicants must have earned at least nine credits, have a minimum 2.5 grade point average and be registered for at least six credits for the fall semester. The scholarship helps defray the cost of tuition and books and is for students majoring in journalism.
"The Gazette and Tribune have always been very supportive of our students, and many who have received the scholarship in the past interned at one of the papers," Poth said.
Poth said when she meets with the first award recipient, she will talk about Gallagher's life and work and how it will be an honor for her to present the scholarship in his name.
"I will say that if you can be as successful as Barney, you have achieved quite a goal," she said. "Barney was an excellent and very honest reporter. When you bumped into him he always had his camera ready as well as a good story to tell. He will be missed."