“NO STORY IS worth your life.”
My former editor, @apathoni, tweeted the credo late Tuesday after confirmed news on the death of a journalist in Mount Merapi flooding our Twitter’s timeline.
It is indeed mournful to read the story confirming Yuniawan Nugroho’s death. Yuniawan — known to his close friends as Wawan — was the head of the political desk at news portal Vivanews.com assigned to cover Mount Merapi’s eruption.
He passed away in the Merapi’s gatekeeper’s, Mbah Maridjan, house [his names was only Maridjan, mbah is a Javanese word for grandfather] who was also killed during the eruption.
Both were in Mbah Maridjan’s house in the Kinahrejo village, on the slope of the mountain — about 4 kilometers from the peak of Mount Merapi. Wawan went there to interview the 83 year-old man. As the mount’s gatekeeper, many believe Mbah Maridjan had the power to speak to the spirits of the volcano. Many believe he could tell when the mountain would erupt and when it would stop.
You all probably have read the news, how Indonesia has been suffering from natural disasters lately. The earthquakes, floods, and the latest in Mentawai Islands, West Sumatra: a tsunami. And in Central Java, we have one of our volcanoes erupted.
The disasters claimed hundreds, including a journalist, Wawan.
Journalists, those dudes who always want to go in, when everyone else wants to just get out of the catastrophes.