PAJ regrets passing of Hartley Neita


The Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) regrets the passing of veteran journalist and communications consultant Hartley Neita. He died in hospital where he was taken this morning following complaint of feeling ill.
Last year the PAJ honoured Hartley along with two other veteran media practitioners, for serving the field of journalism for 60 years. Hartley began his career in media by writing short stories, movie Reviews and sports reports for THE STAR newspaper in 1947. He served as press secretary to several prime ministers; and on retirement from the public service in 1981, he returned to his true love -journalism.
At the time of his death, Hartley was a columnist for The Gleaner since 1993, and author of the long running feature, This Day in Our Past, which began in 1996 as Historical Highlights. “It was the sort of column that has been informed by his knowledge of how government administration works and reflected a keen sense of cultural matters and relationship of the Jamaican people in many spheres,” recounts Ken Allen, retired Editor-in-Chief of The Gleaner.
Reacting to news of Hartley’s death, Gleaner Managing Editor Jenni Campbell said: “We have lost a stalwart. Hartley has left us a legacy that celebrates the fruits of hard work, the benefits of rigour, and the sanctity of fairness and balance.”
She said, while The Gleaner family mourns Hartley’s passing, “We will cherish his memories and continue striving to maintain his high standards and dedication to his lifelong profession”.
Actor Buddy Pouyatt, a close friend of Hartley, described him as “one of the brightest Jamaican that has been born.” Pouyatt noted that Hartley was “greatly respected” by both sides of the political divide, each of whom he had served as press secretary to the prime minister.
Playwright Basil Dawkins, another close associate of Hartley, said the deceased believed in the “sacredness of decency” and was disturbed by the descent of the society into the killing of women and children. Dawkins said in recent times he had sensed and “air of disappointment” by Hartley that his generation had not delivered on the expectations of Independence in 1962.
The PAJ expresses condolences to Mr Neita’s relatives and friends.

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