19 de mayo de 2024

Radio 26 – Matanzas, Cuba

Emisora provincial de Matanzas, Cuba, La Radio de tu Corazón

From Manolo and Celestino, life lessons.


As to remember is to honor, today, 60 years after the founding of the Union of Journalists of Cuba (UPEC), I think of the dean of the press in Matanzas, Manuel de Jesús García García, Manolo, who dedicated more than 70 years of his life to practice journalism in defense of the just causes of the people, committed to his time, with his own qualities and insightful verb.

Manolo defended to the utmost the modesty that must characterize a journalist, as something that cannot be erased not even in an hour, a minute or a second of his exemplary life, with a fruitful work in Cuban journalism.

From his beginnings in Radio Rialto and La Palabra News, his intentional and courageous notes against the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista in El Imparcial and Adelante, his union fights in the Jarcia factory, his exile in Costa Rica and Mexico, where he continued doing journalism.

Manolo Garcia worked after the triumph of the Revolution in Radio 26, Adelante Revolucionario, as a correspondent of the newspaper Revolucion and collaborated with television in Matanzas, always with his professional teaching. And I am not exaggerating when I say what others have said before, Manolo is a personality of Matanzas as much as the poets José Jacinto Milanés, Plácido, José María Heredia and Carilda Oliver.

Another great of the profession and the revolutionary struggles, Celestino García Franco, becomes a paradigm of Cuban journalism in Matanzas and as Jeidi Suárez stated in her work on the Radio 26 website: «He stood out for his zeal for the exact word, his reporter’s sense of smell and his truthful journalism; reason for which he constitutes a school for present and future colleagues.

Maritza Tejera affirmed: «Cele is one of the best journalists that Matanzas has had in the last decades. He wrote and managed to enchant the reader, so that what you started to read, you finished it. We should all try to imitate his discipline -because he was never late, never absent-; to imitate his professionalism, because when he finished something, it was the best; to imitate his dedication, because he lived for journalism».

These reflections on the 60th anniversary of UPEC invite us to rethink Gabriel García Márquez, who described journalism as «the best profession in the world. Journalism is the profession that most resembles boxing, with the advantage that the machine always wins and the disadvantage that you are not allowed to throw in the towel,» he said.

In his speech before the 52nd Assembly of the Inter American Press Association, IAPA, in Los Angeles, United States, on October 7th, 1996, García Márquez affirmed that the profession imposed the need to form a cultural base and the work environment itself was in charge of fostering it. Reading was an occupational addiction. Self-taught people are usually avid and quick, and those of us of those times were more than enough to continue making our way in life to the best profession in the world -as we ourselves called it.

Words that seem in the light of our days as if they were said today: ¨(…) and now it is not called journalism, but communication sciences or social communication. The result, in general, is not encouraging. The young people who come out of the academies with illusions, with their lives ahead of them, seem detached from reality and from their vital problems, and an eagerness for prominence prevails over vocation and congenital aptitudes.

And especially on the two most important conditions of journalism: creativity and practice. They are not moved by the fact that the best news is not always the one that is given first, but often the one that is given best.

«Some, consciously, feel let down by school and do not tremble to blame their teachers for not having instilled in them the virtues they now demand, especially curiosity for life.

Faced with such Masters of Journalism, I can only subscribe to their words and I do advise the colleagues of today and tomorrow: be curious, inquire, feel the need to know and learn, do not be embarrassed to consult, do not think you know everything, do not waste time, be sociable, respectful, cordial, elegant….

Ah, do not miss a piece of candy in your purse or backpack because in this profession, one tends to almost faint! In the meantime, I remain proud and without regrets to try every day to honor my Masters.

To Manolo and Celestino, again and again to drink and inspire us.

Written by Odalys Oriol Miranda Suárez.



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