Tuesday, December 06, 2005

A Veteran Journalist Passes Away

I almost forgot to blog about this.

Last Thursday, I was browsing through the New Straits Times when a photograph caught my eye. I was shocked to learn that A. Sri K. Nayagam had passed away early the day before (Nov 30). The former Assistant Editor of the Malay Mail and Asiaweek’s former chief correspondent for Malaysia, passed away at the age of 63 after being bedridden for quite some time.

Picture from the NST

Mr. Nayagam retired from the Malay Mail in 1998 and had started his own PR company.
The veteran journalist was later roped in as the Managing Editor of the South Review magazine, an effort to revive the South, which had been previously published from London. Many don't know it but this influential magazine was Malaysian funded. Unfortunately, it had folded up during the Asian Crisis.

The South Review was aimed at presenting the perspectives of the developing and third world countries (the South countries). It was a valiant effort but after working there for about a year (as a contributor/jack of all trades), I knew that it wouldn't work.

A magazine needs advertisements to survive. This in turn depends on circulation.

The South review was a magazine about the environment, globalisation, current affairs and other serious stuff. You can imagine how difficult it was to sell this kind of magazine in Malaysia, where people don’t either trust or look down on anything published here. As for advertisements, MNC’s would avoid us like the plague and I guess you know why.

Anyway, I really did learn a lot of things from Mr. Nayagam. During lunch, he would regale us with stories from his life as a journalist, some of them quite juicy I might add.

I had minor differences in the way the magazine was being run and soon left for better pastures (or so I thought). I had lost touch with him for quite sometime since I left the magazine. Later learnt that the magazine had folded up from friends who had worked there. I also recall reading somewhere that he was rehired by the NST on contract, which was his last posting.

May his soul rest in peace.

Read his obituary in the NST.

1 comment:

Jen said...

Hey Adam! How's things going?
Well...I've never heard of the guy, may he rest in peace!
I was totally torn apart when Peter Jennings died here. I happen to love Journalism and majored in it high school. Jennings was my idol!

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