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Daily journalist who ‘brought joy to the newsroom’ dies aged 23

Rachel Nurse 2A journalist who “brought joy to the newsroom” and served on the launch team of a regional publisher’s new title this year has died aged 23.

Tributes have been paid to South Wales Argus reporter Rachel Nurse, who died at the weekend of ovarian cancer.

Rachel, pictured, joined Argus publisher Newsquest in February as part of the launch team for The National Wales before moving on to the Argus to continue her training.

She also wrote for titles including the Penarth Times and Barry & District News.

Gavin Thompson, who edits the titles Rachel worked for, wrote in an obituary: “She was, quite simply, a ray of sunshine who brought joy to the newsroom. She will be badly missed by her colleagues and all who knew her.

“A career should be measured in achievements, not time, and Rachel’s was pretty amazing.

“She helped launch a new national newspaper and website – an opportunity very few have in even the most illustrious of careers.

“She questioned ministers at televised media briefings, met celebrities – her interview with Mike Peters of The Alarm is especially moving now – and covered local stories that mattered to communities. She’s even got a mention on Wikipedia and got her ‘blue tick’ as a verified authority on Twitter.”

“Cancer would not stop Rachel achieving her dream to be a professional journalist. Before applying for the job with Newsquest, she called me and said ‘I have cancer, is it worth me applying for the job?’. I’m very pleased I said yes.”

“Rachel was a bundle of energy in the newsroom, always first to volunteer or contribute an idea or five. She loved animals and never missed chance to write about The Dogs Trust in Cardiff.

“She moved to Newport and embraced life and her job with the Argus as much as possible, telling her mum ‘today Newport, tomorrow New York.'”

“Before she died, Rachel told her mum to pass on that ‘we’d better find someone really good to replace her’. Rachel can’t be replaced, but we’ll do our best to honour her memory.”

Rachel attended Whitchurch High School, in Cardiff, where she often volunteered at the breakfast club and helped other pupils with the reading, before going on to Cardiff University to study English literature.

She achieved an MA in international journalism, while also dealing with cancer, and had worked published by the Argus, Wales Online and Al Jazeera while training.

Rachel underwent surgery oveer the summer and was looking forward to life after cancer – but the disease returned in September.

She died on Saturday with her family around her at home near Cardiff and  is survived by her mother and father, Maggs and Terry Nurse.