Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc, 74
PHILIPPINE DAILY Inquirer editor in chief Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc died on Dec. 24, 2015. She was 74.
Magsanoc, who led the Inquirer for 24 years, was also one of its founders. She was the first woman and the longest-serving editor-in-chief of the paper, having assumed that post in 1991. The national daily became the country’s leading newspaper during her editorial leadership. She also led the Inquirer through a critical period when, in 1999, the paper ran a series of exposés produced by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) on the hidden wealth of then President Joseph Estrada, causing him to call for a movie advertising boycott of the Inquirer.
During the wake, members of the family said that she had not been able to work in December and was taken to the hospital on December 21 for treatment and that she suffered heart failure on Christmas eve. Inquirer reports said that she was unable to attend the paper’s 30th anniversary celebrations on Dec. 9, 2015.
Her long career in journalism began with the Manila Bulletin in the late 1960s. She became editor of the Philippine Panorama (1976-1981) but was fired for her articles critical of the Marcos regime. She then joined Mr.& Ms. Special Edition in 1983. Magsanoc also served as associate publisher and the first editor of the Sunday Inquirer Magazine. She was writing the column “Leavings” before she was appointed editor of the Inquirer.
Prior to her professional involvement in journalism, Magsanoc, then a senior at St. Theresa’s College, contributed to the Sunday Times Magazine. After graduating, she went to the US where she earned a masters degree in journalism at the University of Missouri (“Inquirer chief editor LettyJimenez-Magsanoc passes away,” CNNPhilippines.com, Dec. 24, 2015).
Her other awards include the Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism from the University of Missouri School of Journalism in 1993; one of “The Stars of Asia” of the BusinessWeek international magazine; and the Rotary Club of Manila’s Marcelo H. Del Pilar Journalism Award for Print in 2000. In 2006, she was hailed by Time magazine as one of Asia’s heroes of the last 60 years. Last 2015, the Rotary Club of Manila also named her Journalist of the Year. (“Magsanoc, who led the Inquirer for 24 years, writes 30,” Inquirer.net, Dec. 24, 2010)
“The country has lost a bedrock of journalism. And we, the Inquirer family and her family in the profession, feel the incalculable loss of a well-loved leader, a mentor, a friend,” the Inquirer said in its statement.
President Benigno Aquino III also paid tribute to Magsanoc. “She was, to me, and all Filipinos of goodwill who love freedom, democracy, and good governance, a source of strength,” Aquino said. (“A ‘source of strength’ to P-Noy and nation,” Inquirer, Dec, 26, 2015)
Bob Flick, 84
Longtime Los Angeles newsman Robert “Bob” Flick died Dec. 31, 2015. He was 84.
Flick began his journalism career in 1958 as a beat reporter at City News Service. He also worked for the Associated Press, the Los Angeles CBS affiliate KNXT, and NBC.
Flick was a survivor of the 1978 Jonestown massacre in Guyana during which more than 900 people died from mass suicide-murder. (“Longtime LA Newsman Bob Flick Dies at Age 84,” NBCLosAngeles.com, Jan. 4, 2015)
“Flick was deeply affected by the tragedy, and it changed the course of what had been a soaring career. Within a few years, he left NBC “Nightly News,” where he had been West Coast producer and took a job that seemed a strange fit for a hard-news veteran,” wrote Jill Loevy in “Robert Flick dies at 84; NBC news producer survived Jonestown attack” (LATimes.com, Jan. 5, 2016)
In the same article, Flick’s former colleague Joe Saltzman describes him as “a legendary character.” He adds, “I’d been to USC and Columbia Journalism School, but I never learned as much there as I did from Bob Flick.”
Flick is survived by his wife, sons, daughter, and two granddaughters.