Magsanoc a ‘great journalist, leader, game changer of her ilk’—Gordon
For Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Chair Richard Gordon, Inquirer editor in chief Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc was someone who “dared against authority” and had a radar-like mind for the truth.
In a statement released on Sunday morning, Gordon pointed out that it was not only what Magsanoc wrote but also what she lived and stood for that made her “such a severe loss to Philippine journalism.”
“She dared against authority, defied all kinds of pressure, and asserted and created a leader brand in the journalistic profession and business,” the former senator said.
News of Magsanoc’s passing came hours before Christmas Eve, leaving the Inquirer and the Philippine media industry stunned. Magsanoc, also known as LJM to most and Letty to some, passed away late afternoon at St. Luke’s Global City, surrounded by her family. She suffered cardiac arrest.
Gordon said that Magsanoc, the Inquirer’s first woman and longest-serving editor in chief, was the kind of journalist “everyone looked up to.”
“Her wide experience and instincts searched constantly for what the public needed to know and to read. Her mind was like a radar probing incoming traffic for the truth,” he said.
Before the Inquirer, LJM worked alongside Inquirer founding chair Eugenia Duran Apostol in the Mr. & Ms. Special Edition, which defied Ferdinand Marcos’ dictatorship. The Inquirer would later become instrumental in the unraveling and eventual toppling of the strongman’s nearly two-decade rule.
“She was always aware not just of her capabilities in writing but long ago she had already defined who she was and what she was going to be, lead and do. And she became not just a great journalist but a leader and game changer of her ilk,” Gordon said.
He pointed out that every leader, in any profession, “creates or molds a culture.” For the Inquirer, Gordon said that LJM “raised the bar of her staff reporting the news and the philosophy of her newspaper.”
“I know she and her staff did that with the PDI (Philippine Daily Inquirer). She obviously had an eye for picking young and talented journalists, most of the time, and demanded integrity, work ethic and pride from them,” he said.
He added that because of these, not only did the Inquirer came “to be one of the most preferred broadsheet of choice,” but it also “gained international and national recognition for their efforts.”
Gordon said that for someone “who has always stood by principle and philosophy, and worked and enjoyed her craft strenuously, and who in the process, made a world of difference knows herself that awards are ephemeral and what really lasts is the respect and integrity of one’s work.”
“Letty Jimenez Magsanoc had that,” he said.
The PRC chair said that he and his family would like to extend their condolences to LJM’s family. RAM
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