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Champion of Truth: Remembering Gilbert Tagle, Jr. and His Commitment to Journalism

“It’s a newspaper’s duty to print the news and raise hell.”

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In the photo captured on June 21, 2020, Alma Alisia Arévalo stands beside her husband, Gilbert Tagle, Jr. Tagle, aged 68 and a revered journalist from the Valley, passed away on Friday, February 2, 2024, at Knapp Medical Center in Weslaco. He is remembered for his relentless pursuit of justice, speaking truth to power, and advocating for the underdog. Courtesy Image
In the photo captured on June 21, 2020, Alma Alisia Arévalo stands beside her husband, Gilbert Tagle, Jr. Tagle, aged 68 and a revered journalist from the Valley, passed away on Friday, February 2, 2024, at Knapp Medical Center in Weslaco. He is remembered for his relentless pursuit of justice, speaking truth to power, and advocating for the underdog. Courtesy Image
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BY DAVID DIAZ

Veteran print journalist Gilbert Tagle, Jr., 68, most well-known as the former editor of the Edinburg Daily Review in the 1980s and 1990s, didn’t come up with the famous saying, “It’s a newspaper’s duty to print news and raise hell.” 

But he sure was a champion of that idea, first proclaimed by American humorist and writer Finley Peter Dunne, who became famous in the late 1800s and early 1900s “for his witty and insightful commentary on political and social issues of his time.

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“This quote reflects the core principle of journalism, emphasizing the importance of news outlets in educating the public, fostering dialogue, and serving as a watchdog for societal injustices. By fearlessly questioning authority and shedding light on pressing issues, newspapers have the power to provoke change and drive progress in society.” 

Tagle, whose journalism career included public service as a communications expert with the Edinburg City Council and the Edinburg Consolidated Independent School District, continued to use his writing and speaking skills on behalf of the United Methodist Church as long as his health allowed him. 

His death occurred on Friday, February 2, 2024, at Knapp Medical Center in Weslaco.

His unexpected passing was announced by his wife, Alma Alisia Arévalo, on his Facebook, which, like his newspaper and public information careers, had a large following, but through which he focused more on his Christian faith, along with sharing words of wisdom and mercy, inspirational images, and stories from many highly-regarded sources.

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“Family and friends, it is with deepest sorrow that I inform you of the death of my beloved husband, Gilbert Tagle, who passed away today, February 2, 2024,” Arévalo wrote on his Facebook. “Thank you all for your loving prayers and words of encouragement for Gilbert, myself, his son Carlos, and his brother Richard. Your continued prayers for our family are much appreciated. 

“My comfort in my suffering is this: ‘Your promise preserves my life.’ Psalm 119:50 NIV,” she added.

To the surprise and concern of many of his Facebook followers, on Saturday, January 20, 2024, Tagle posted an alarming update on his health:

“Through 68 years of life, I have learned time and again that I need God. The bottom line is that I have not felt well for a couple of weeks now. I’m not sure if it’s a bad sinus infection, the flu, or severe anemia. Believe it or not, I do indeed suffer from these three conditions,” he wrote. “I have felt so bad, that I have had put Facebook aside. It hurts to follow it. I briefly got back on it today. I discovered friends who lost loved ones, who are getting treated for cancer or other diseases., etc., etc. To my friends requesting catch-up time, please give me a little time. I need to see what the doctor recommends. You are, however, in my prayers.”

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