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Long-time home news editor draws curtain on career with JT

By JT - Sep 09,2015 - Last updated at Sep 09,2015

Ranjana Barua receives a Jordan Press Foundation plaque from The Jordan Times Chief Editor Samir Barhoum at a lunch held by JT in her honour on Saturday (Photo by Muath Freij)

AMMAN — Goodbyes are hard, as The Jordan Times staff has learned the hard way this year.

The paper’s reporters, editors, translators, proofreaders and designers had to say goodbye to yet another key member of the JT family — long-time home news editor Ranjana Barua.

This August marked Ranjana’s last month in the JT after some 15 years of hard work, nearly a decade of which she spent as editor of the paper’s most crucial section.

Joining the JT in 2001, Ranjana started at the proofreading department, and from there she went on to work as roaming editor, taking a stab at the sports, business, lifestyle and opinion pages.

From 2002 to 2007, she edited the Weekender: a full-colour tabloid-size supplement with in-depth features on events and trends in Jordanian society and culture.

“Ranjana came to The Jordan Times on a lark. Her daughter had finished school and she had so much to give and quite some time to do so,” said Managing Editor Ica Wahbeh.

“That was 15 years ago. And she stayed, earning the respect of all because of her dedication, hard work, knowledge of the language and persistence,” she added.

“Leaving might be like ‘liberation’ for this hard-working friend and colleague, but for us, it is a loss.”

Deputy Chief Editor Mahmoud Al Abed agreed.

“I have worked side by side with Ranjana for 13 years,” he said.“She never lost her enthusiasm for work and gratitude that she had this job with this team. The daily meeting with her and other local news editors every afternoon for the last eight years has been a learning experience for me.” 

“I have always believed that none is indispensable or irreplaceable when the system of the organisation is functional, but I have to make an exception in this case. Ranjana is irreplaceable and I will miss her.”

As editor of JT’s local pages, Ranjana has mentored many of the paper’s young staff members, including translators, reporters and editors.

“I have worked with Ranjana since 2009, first as a translator and then a reporter. I can say that she taught me much of my journalistic skills,” said Reporter Laila Azzeh.

Such is the case for Editor Rand Dalgamouni.

“I learned something new from Ranjana every day. Every time I edit a story, I ask myself: ‘What would Ranjana do to make this even better?’,” she said.

“Despite the pressure that came with her job, she was always ready with a joke to make the evening staff smile. I will treasure our late night conversations in between editing stories and preparing pages.” 

Although she had to spend long evening hours in the office on a daily basis, even on public holidays and in times of harsh weather — sometimes doing four or five pages —Ranjana looks back fondly on her time with the JT.

“We have such an interesting job… we have something different every day, and the biggest blessing is we see the fruit of our labour every single day… in black and white,” she said at a lunch held by JT this week in her honour.

Speaking at the gathering, Chief Editor Samir Barhoum said previous local news editors did not stay on for long, due to the demanding nature of the job.

“Ranjana… was a great asset. She was one of the best editors I worked with. She was maybe the longest serving home news editor… staying every night to help everyone… and eventually — by midnight — put the newspaper to bed,” he added.

“For us in the editorial team we always needed her and she was there for us,” the chief editor said. 

“Thank you Ranjana for all that you have done… you were a supporter for all of us. You were a mother for many of our aspiring journalists and helped them throughout their career.”

Her legacy will continue in the memories of her co-workers, especially every time they put pen to paper to write, edit or proofread a story.

 

“It’s been wonderful. I really enjoyed it. I did everything with love… but everything comes to an end, and then there are new beginnings,” Ranjana said.

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