Heard that Rodney Tasker, a well-respected journalist who worked with the legendary Far Eastern Economic Review until it was shut down in 2004, passed away recently. He’s seen here seated next to Bob Tilley (far right), who also passed away this month, in a photo taken in January 2005, soon after he joined the Irrawaddynews. I never had a chance to work with Rodney, but did correspond a few times when I filed occasional stories from Japan, where I was living at the time. I looked forward to working with him, but he was no longer with the Irrawaddy by the time I returned to Thailand in early 2008. (To his right is Irrawaddy editor Aung Zaw, and seated next to him is Eid, who worked as the Irrawaddy’s secretary for more than seven years.)
As I mention in my post, I didn’t really know Rodney, but I knew that, like many others before and after him, he had a rocky relationship with Aung Zaw. His acrimonious dismissal, which I wrote about here, set the stage for a mutiny among the foreigners working the copy desk, and a purge that indirectly claimed Eid as one of its victims.