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November 14, 2018

Senior journalist Robin Fernandez passes away


November 14, 2018

KARACHI: The journalist community in the city was in mourning on Tuesday when it learnt about the sudden demise of senior journalist Robin Phillip Fernandez, who passed away at the age of 51. He is survived by wife Marina Fernandez and three children, Merrick, 12, Ronan, 9, and Russel, 6.

Robin, as he was affectionately addressed by his colleagues, remained part of the The News International for a long time. He studied at St Patrick’s and then went to the Karachi University for his bachelors in Mass Communication in 1990.

He served many local and foreign news organizations since then: he worked for UCA News as senior correspondent; for Dawn as senior sub-editor; for Herald and Business Today as news editor. His last assignment was with the Express Tribune, which he joined in its inceptive year 2010 as editorial consultant. He moved on to become the paper’s foreign editor in 2012 and in 2017 was promoted to head the Op-Ed desk. His sudden demise has left

the journalist fraternity in grief and sorrow.

As condolences poured in, Qaisar Mehmood, former Editor Business Today, said Robin was the first journalist he had hired when the paper was launched. He said Robin always met his high expectations.

Foreign Editor of The News Qazi Ghulam Mohiuddin, who fondly remembered working with Robin on the International Desk in early ‘90s, said Robin was always full of life and the news would inspire and interest him. During the Bosnia episode, he would commission interesting graphics of the war. “Robin was always on the lookout for more intensive coverage of the events,” he said.

Amjad Bashir Siddiqi, Senior Assistant Editor, who worked with him in newsroom of The News in the ‘90s recalled his gentle demeanour. “I recently met him when he was recovering from his illness. He was vibrant and full of hope and was ready to return to work. His passing away came as a big shock.”

One of his close friends and classmates Muradul Mushtaq was grief stricken. He said Robin was a thorough professional and no matter how stressful the work would be, he would be always smiling. “I am poorer today… I have lost a very sincere friend,” said a dejected Mushtaq.

Robin was also fondly remembered by News Editor, The News, Ali Abbas Rizvi, another of Robin’s colleagues during the 1990s. “A fabulous guy, a gentleman to the core, somebody you would always find smiling no matter how stressful the situation was.”

Robin would be sorely missed by his colleagues, both recent and former, his memories foreover cherished.

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