Tuesday, 24 October 2017

HEROES DIE, THEIR STORIES LIVES ON : Tribute to Fallen Colleagues

There's alot of things that distinguishes between mainstream and social media that not many people get to appreciate the job of many journalists in Papua New Guinea.

While media personells are always criticised for not reporting freely and fairly, there are darker times that journalists, photographers and reporters endure to keep our people informed on whats happening in our country.

Missing sleep on the road, climbing a mountain for a few hours or even braving the scorching heat of the sun trying to get a story is quite remarkable for many journalist colleagues in PNG. We litteraly share the same food, the same bottle of water or even a cigarette stick while on the job.

Many of us dont get to have a decent meal throughout the day and even had to sleep late in the night after finishing off from the office. For some of us younger reporters, we dont get to feel the pressure like our senior colleagues do.

They hardly spend time with their families, they are always concerned about the news deadlines and what Papua New Guineans would read about the next day. For a job that one has to earn less than $500, senior reporters have families that deserves better care and support from the organisation they work for.

In January 2016, PNG lost one of it's most talented sons and the greatest sportscaster of his era in  Late Mark Sapias. Dubbed as the Ray Warren of PNG, Mark's voice was the voice during the late 80s, 90s and into 2000. His rugby league commentaries were unmatched to this day.

Late Mark Sapias was committed to his job and spent of his behind the sets of Television news and sports. He was indeed a giant in his personality.

In March 2016, PNG again lost another great hero in the radio broadcasting industry. 73years old Roger Hau'ofa was indeed the king of radio with his trademark personality on FM100's Talkback Show program. He was indeed a great icon of radio in PNG leaving behind a legacy that will be unmatched in the years to come.

On Christmas Eve 2016, the media fraternity mourn the passing of senior media personal and former Chief Editor of the Post Courier newspapaer Late Oseah Philemon. During his funeral service, the elder daughter described here dad as selfless. Someone who lived for the people and spend most his time away from his own immediate families.

The Late Oseah Philemon was a staunch advocate for a free press, that also includes his stand against the cyber laws that the government was trying to introduce. OP's foresight in journalism helped alot of young reporters to write about the issues affect our nation's growth than to promote agendas which will destroy our people.

OP passes on peacefully to be with his beloved wife, leaving behind a colorful legacy with his children, grandchildren and colleagues in the media fraternity.

Ten months on and another shocking news hit the same newsroom at Konedobu. Another senior colleague has collasped and was taken to hospital. For many that knew the circumstances surrounding her death, it was painful as she was alleged to have suffered physical abuses in the hands of her husband.

Rosalyn Abaniel Evara, 41 lost her elder son along with her third son on the 15th of August 2015 and 15th of September 2016 respectively. The pain of losing her sons was immense, but she still hold on and strive to give her best for her employer, her family and the people of PNG.

Rosalyn was a quiet hardworking reporter from her humble beginings in Lae, Madang and then to Port Moresby as the Business Editor with Post Courier. Her darker sides of her life were kept to herself even her colleagues knew about the ordeals she endured in her own home at the Post Courier flats.

"We often advise her to leave the guy, but she doesn't really tell anyone her problems," says one of her friend.

"When we start a conversation on violence, she would leave the discussion. At least we tried, she wouldn't let it out till she went away."

The lessons from the lives of fallen colleagues will always remind us that we all live once and that is to do our job with dilligence. Most of all spend more times with your families and live, love and enjoy more laughter in your lives.

It is with great respect for my colleagues that I symphatise with their families and loved ones and I hope the people of PNG an dthe Government can stand with us through thick and thin and ensure we do our work without fear, favor, threats and intimidations.

The pen is mightier than the sword to change our nation.

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