The International Federation of Journalists is saddened to hear of the passing of trailblazing Fijian journalist Laisa Taga. During her time as a journalist, an editor and a media executive, Taga became one of the Fiji media community’s most respected voices.
Taga, 56, passed away at her home amongst her family in Cunningham, Suva on Friday April 4 after battling cancer.
During her stellar career Taga, who hailed from Bua province in northern Fiji, represented her country in athletics during the 1974 Commonwealth Games in New Zealand, became the nation’s first female editor of a daily paper and was appointed the editor-in-chief of the Pacific region’s biggest magazine publishing company.
Glowing accolades from Fiji’s journalism community have flown since Taga’s passing on Friday. Peter Lomas, the CEO and publisher of Fiji Sun who first recruited Taga, said she was a remarkable journalist and editor whose legacy would be felt for generations.
Lomas said: “She led and influenced through deeds, rather than talking. She made a true difference in many lives. But one of her most enduring legacies is showing the way for the women who are editors and news executives today.”
“Laisa was also never afraid to stand up for what she believed. She was removed from her job as executive producer of our first local TV news. She had refused to bow to political pressure on stories from ministers in Ratu Mara’s interim government.”
Pacific Freedom Forum chair Titi Gabi said that during her time as editor-in-chief of the Islands Business International Taga provided a monthly drumbeat unequalled in its regularity and consistency.
Gabi said: "There is no similar outlet across our vast region, nor is there an editor that touched as many lives as she did. Through her many correspondents, Laisa Taga was a watching eye, and a listening ear to the myriad of issues facing all our island states."
The IFJ expresses our deepest condolences to the family and colleagues of Laisa Taga.
The IFJ said: “Laisa was an inspirational figure in the Asia Pacific media. She set a standard of excellence for herself and for her staff that those following her can now aspire to. She will be sorely missed.”
For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0950
The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries
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