Sun | May 16, 2021

Forever grateful to Ken Allen

Published:Thursday | January 28, 2021 | 12:08 AM


I was saddened at the passing of Ken Allen, journalist nonpareil, and the consummate ‘editor-in-chief.’

In the mid-1980s, I was introduced to Ken by my brother, the late Hartley Neita, while on a visit to The Gleaner’s Editorial Department. The two media icons allowed me to join their conversation in Ken’s office and following that, I became a regular ‘third party ’ at these informal rap meetings.

During those sessions I was made privy to the canons of journalism that ordered Allen’s professionalism, ethics, and style. Always straightforward with his opinion, an insistence on in-depth analysis, attentiveness to current events, and himself abreast of the thinking behind decisions taken by movers and shakers in the public sphere.

He had little time for ‘foolishness’ or irrelevance, and I had to think very carefully before I ventured to offer an article for publication on his opinion page.

I was surprised, but delighted, when I got the feedback that Ken thought my writing showed promise, and for a while, he allowed a regular column and editorials until around the time he took final retirement. In this period, he was my mentor, and I will be forever grateful for his encouragement and critique. For me, it was an honour to sit at his table. Farewell to this gentle giant.


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