Veteran journalist passes away at 80
Novia D. Rulistia
The Jakarta Post
Senior journalist and former anchor at state-owned TV station TVRI in the 1980s, Prahastoeti binti Prayitno, better known as Toeti Adhitama, passed away early on Sunday at her house in Lebak Bulus, South Jakarta. She was 80.
Her daughter, Tya Adhitama, announced her passing on Sunday via Facebook. 'Our mother, Prahastoeti binti Prayitno [Toeti Adhitama] has returned to Allah SWT on Feb. 22 at 12:05 a.m.,' she wrote.
Dian Adhitama, her other daughter, told tempo.co that Toeti had died of an illness, but declined to reveal the illness. 'She had been suffering from an illness for quite a long time,' she said.
Although her mother was sick, Dian said, she still dedicated a lot of time to journalism. 'She still wrote a column in the media until December last year.'
The family buried Toeti on Sunday afternoon at the San Diego Hills cemetery in Karawang, West Java.
Another former TVRI anchor, Tengku Malinda, said Toeti was a calm and respected person in the office. 'She was a calm person and had a strong personality,' she said as quoted by tempo.co.
Malinda, who joined TVRI in 1984, said that as a senior with lots of journalistic experience, Toeti was very humble.
'As my senior, she was not arrogant at all,' she said, adding that she also knew Toeti as a professor of English literature at the University of Indonesia (UI).
'She didn't teach my class, but I knew her.'
Born in East Java's Madiun on Feb. 19 in 1935, Toeti was widely known as a bespectacled news anchor with soft voice who hosted the Dunia Dalam Berita news program at 9 p.m. on TVRI during the 1980s.
She studied English literature at UI in 1954, and then went to the US to continue her studies at the University of Virginia and George Washington University until 1974.
She first started work in the media on Australian radio in Melbourne in 1959, for a period of three years. During her time in the US, she worked for Voice of America in Washington, DC, from 1963 to 1975.
Upon her return to Indonesia, she immediately started a career with TVRI in 1976 and became the station's first TV news anchor. In 1988, she quit TVRI.
In addition to being a news anchor, she and other fellow journalists set up a business magazine, Eksekutif, and she became its editor-in-chief in 1979 for 20 years.
She then joined the Media group in 1999, becoming a member of its editorial council until she passed away.
She was awarded Press Card Number One by the Press Council in 2010 for her decades-long contribution and dedication to the development of the national press.
Senior journalist and writer Goenawan Muhammad expressed his condolences of her passing on his Twitter account. 'Gone, rest in peace: Toeti Adhitama, a senior journalist, best friend, passes away at 80,' he tweeted.
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