Journalists' passing creates vacuum


The recent passing of veteran journalists Susuve Laumaea and Oseah Philemon has left a vacuum in the Papua New Guinea media industry.

The late Mr Laumaea and Mr Philemon set the benchmarks in writing critical public commentary and promoting uncompromising journalism in their careers with the Post-Courier and The National as well as the Sunday Chronicle.

Media Council of Papua New Guinea (MCPNG) President Alexander Rheeney said journalism in PNG was flying and the profession earned the respect of citizens when the two veteran journalists were in the twilight of their careers.

"The late Susuve ensured the Somare government did not escape scrutiny with his commentaries on public policy and the impact of government failures on ordinary Papua New Guineans. He literally kept Waigani honest with his views on how major government policies should translate to tangible development outcomes for citizens," said Mr Rheeney.

"Oseah Philemon was a legend for his work at the Post-Courier as editor and later chief editor, overseeing a golden age in journalism at the country's oldest daily newspaper. His sense of news judgement and leadership at Lawes Road brought out the best in journalists who worked under him, who went on to become household names during and after his tenure."

The late Mr Philemon worked for over 20 years with the Post-Courier which included 15 years as editor and chief editor of the daily newspaper. He was also a former MCPNG president in his illustrious career.

The two veteran journalists leave behind a legacy of uncompromising hard-hitting journalism, which Mr Rheeney said is now left to the current practitioners to embrace and take forward.

"There are journalists in various media organisations who have worked with and under the late Susuve and Oseah and are familiar with the standards that the two veteran journalists set and maintained at the peak of their careers. It is now up to you to live up to those benchmarks and to pass on those ideals to the next generation of journalists."

Mr Rheeney said the MCPNG and its executive join members of the media industry in mourning the passing of the late Mr Laumaea and Mr Philemon and sends their sympathies to their families, relatives, friends and colleagues.