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Inquirer editor in chief Magsanoc writes 30 December 27,2015 - 12:12 AM


The vigil wake for LJM is on December 27-29 at Aeternum at Heritage Memorial Park in Taguig City Metro Manila. Visit for related stories.


Letty Jimenez Magsanoc, the iconic editor in chief of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, passed away at the St. Luke’s Medical Center Global City on Christmas Eve.
She was 74.

Magsanoc was one of the founders of the Inquirer; the name of the new newspaper was her suggestion, inspired by her experience.

When it launched on December 9, 1985, it was yet another addition to the so-called mosquito press struggling to report the news under the Marcos regime. But inher quarter-century as chief editor, she was instrumental in making the Inquirer the country’s leading newspaper.

In 1998, a senior senator paid it the ultimate compliment, saying that regardless of what senators and other public officials did, the Inquirer’s front page set the daily agenda.

That was a direct result of Magsanoc’s human-face approach to journalism.

After serving as associate publisher and first editor of the Sunday Inquirer Magazine, she was appointed editor in chief of the Inquirer on June 14, 1991. In that capacity, she oversaw coverage and analysis of eight national elections, five presidencies, and four impeachment crises — as well as brought her sense of magazine design to the broadsheet, infusing the lifestyle, entertainment, culture, and youth pages with her distinctive style.

She cringed at the phrase, but for many in the Inquirer Group and in the industry, she was a living legend in journalism.

In 1993, she received the Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism from the University of Missouri School of Journalism, where she had taken graduate studies.

The “Mizzou” citation read: “In recognition of her dedication and perseverance in exposing government corruption for the people and an effective satirical and creative style that continues to grab the attention of readers.”

In 2000, she was cited by BusinessWeek international magazine as one of the 50 Asians — called “The Stars of Asia” — leading change in the world’s largest continent.


Editor Letty J. Magsanoc and publisher Eggie Apostol in the heydey of Mr. and Ms. Special Edition,. the magazine that infuriated the Marcos regime with its coverage of the assassination of Benigno Aquino Jr.

That same year, she was named the Marcelo H. Del Pilar Journalism Awardee for Print by the Rotary Club of Manila (the oldest in Asia). The Rotary citation read, in part: “For her courage and vision in making the Philippine Daily Inquirer the barometer of freedom of the press in the country.
“For her perseverance in forging ahead with her vision in the face of pressures, commercial and political. For her inspired and aggressive editorial thrusts that have made her paper the country’s most reader-grabbing and forward-looking.”
In 2006, she was named, along with Inquirer founding chair Eugenia Duran Apostol, former President Corazon Aquino and billiards champion Efren “Bata” Reyes, among Asia’s heroes of the last 60 years by Time magazine.
And just last June, Magsanoc — Letty to friends, LJM to many — was named Journalist of the Year by the Rotary Club of Manila.
For Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc, three decades with the Inquirer was never a job.
“I just enjoy it, the work. It’s not like work. Even the long hours. Because of the adrenaline,” she said in an interview on Dec. 1 for the Inquirer’s 30th anniversary issue, where she was hailed as one of the institution’s pillars.
A veteran journalist, she took over the helm of the Philippine Daily Inquirer in 1991 becoming its unfailing compass.
In her busy final weeks with the Inquirer, on the run-up to the grand anniversary celebration, Magsanoc stayed until past midnight in the office to make sure the paper was put to bed with content to which the nation deserved to wake up to.
Magsanoc had been ill for a month.
She missed the Inquirer’s 30th anniversary on Dec. 9 where she was one of the honorees who celebrated their third decade as Inquirer employees /INQUIRER.NET
Editor’s Note: A person who passes away “writes 30” — journalism and printer’s jargon to denote the end of a newspaper article.

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