NC

Editors Note

Editor’s Note
National Courier comes of age
Abul Hasan Usmani
Abul Hasan Usmani Editor-in-Chief

There is nothing like seeing one’s dream come true and witnessing a brainchild turning into grand reality and that too in a unique way. Yes, feelings of jubilation are in the air as we the excited team of the daily National Courier is going to celebrate the 10 years of continued publication amid galore of challenges and all sorts of odds. Isn’t it fascinating to see that the sapling which was planted way back in 2007 is now turned into a full grown tree? Of course it is. It is splendid to look back into retrospect and reckon those first few years of the newspapers which is brainchild of the people striving for change and development in the society through media. Today is a day to celebrate together, to reminisce and to make a fresh pledge to continue with the same zeal with which we took the first step. A decade of successful publication is sufficed to speak for our success. At times when the print media is on the receiving end amid increasing influence of the social media and the electronic media, bringing out a newspaper and then successfully making a niche for itself in the market in the presence of galore of newspapers including the some print giants is nothing less than a miracle, but this has happened. Yes, Daily National Courier is a case in point. It is interesting to look back and note how a project many were skeptical of has propelled forward with a bang. In these testing times when electronic media is ruling the roost, the idea of launching a newspaper certainly sounds a daunting if not an impossible task. What newspaper publishes is already seen on television one day before; as such it has become difficult for the newspapers to remain relevant. This was the challenge with which we started the National Courier. It was not meant to be just another English language newspaper by a big group that wanted to have published their own point of view or promote a particular class – but one that would engage the growing number of Pakistanis who want responsible and reliable information and who want to make a difference and bring about a happy change in the social fabrics, making fair-play a touchstone for existence and unearthing the hidden truth in an impartial and objective way. It is a journey of success, since its inception, the effort is to make it clear that dedication and honesty as well as objectivity are best way to move forward in a limited market such as Pakistan. And it is with motto in mind that the paper has come of age. It was not only published in testing times, but it also faced great odds while climbing the ladders of success amid increased competitions but it did made to the top and today it is being reckoned as one of the top five newspapers of the city. It depicts a marvelous journey of the National Courier which with the passage of time has added new colours, news pages and new concepts in the arena of journalism. While the already existing print giants are pondering as to what shall print publications do to survive, the National Courier has been successfully climbing the ladder of success and has come of age. Go to any stall in the mega city, visit any government or public offices and places, or be onboard of any aero plane; you may see the readers of National Courier preoccupied with the contents of the newspapers and overwhelming sharing the same with their friends and fellows. Be it the front page scoops, or the opinion pages full of witty and wise contents, or for that matter sports, entertainment, health, science or technology, NC highlights each and every aspects of material for the varied readers. Hats off to the entire team of the newspaper, working day and day out under the unmatched diligence and able leadership and guidance of its Editor-in-Chief and respective section in charges. When the newspaper was launched way back in 2007, some print media greats were of the view that it may not survive, saying it is matter of few months. But today time has proven them wrong. But the question is how did the National Courier managed to come at par with the already big names in the industry, the short answer is: do add value by improving the quality of both the content and the packaging and add extra efforts to come up with something new and realistic to attract your readers and come up to their expectation. It is due to efforts of entire people behind the Daily National courier, that there is still a cultural and intellectual premium attached to carrying the print copy of a well-written and well-printed newspaper. NC in print is now considered a prized possession, a collector’s item by its readers. When one considers the commercial pressures on news in print, one is really bewildered but in case of National Courier, one can see that the team is focused on values rather money. The NC has been coming up with verified and verifiable news content which is what distinguishes it from others. Electronic media’s predilection for the popular and the commercial, and the social media’s propensity to exaggerate and distort – if not entirely manufacture – reality, make it imperative that there be an antidote to their excesses. And that is the print media which still harbours the values of real journalism. But print media must thank the newspapers like the National Courier who are strictly adhering to the values and ethics of journalism. National Courier has the capacity to sift fact from fiction, distinguish information from propaganda and separate news from noise. While advertising revenues are scratchy, competition is so intense and readership so fickle that even the fittest struggle to survive in cyberspace. But thank God, that is not the case with the National Courier, which has continued to attract new readership with the passage of time. NC is unique in a way that it has all the ingredients which a great daily has. From information to entertainment, to economics and politics as also the societal issue, every issue gets a due space. We are issue-oriented and believe in influencing upon the view point of the individuals and the society as whole to bring about a positive change in the attitudes and change the psyche and collective mind set of the society. That’s what has earned us a good readership, which is increasing with each passing month. For a new entrant it is a big rather a huge success indeed. Not only this, our paper is also doing well on the internet. The rating, comments and the online viewer-ship are sufficed to prove our point. Since our country is at war with terror, we are assisting the nation in this fight against terrorists by preaching tolerance. At a time of intolerance, we continue to promote liberal and progressive values. But we also listen to the opinion of all sides and give a platform for enlightened debate. We pursue an inclusive approach and are mindful that this is the best way forward. As a matter of fact, current English language readership numbers are depressing and the advertisement pie is getting smaller due to the country’s economic downturn on the one hand and the proliferation of media outlets on the other. It is an uphill road for an English language newspaper in Pakistan. But as many as ten years in print suggest that there are unlimited possibilities. And we are hoped to get our due sheer within due time as our paper has made a niche for itself in a short span of nine years and as such a lot of optimism is in the air which gives hope to the team working in it. As we are living in an age marked by information technology, the newspaper is also ahead in terms of technology. Social media is playing a vital role in news dissemination. Technology and new media can help us generate more content and inform a larger audience if we move with it. Our website has very rapidly become one of the popular news URLs in Pakistan and abroad as well. It rightly understanding of the need of our audience and our readers needs to be reviewed. Our readers today want to be more involved in the media that they follow. No more is it a one-way channel of communication. Furthermore, the team at NC is a ‘blend of experience and new talent’ is the most daring, but it has turned out to be the most rewarding. This small yet dedicated team has shown to the people that it is the dedication and not big names that make the newspaper a success. A lot of the ideas that make newspapers a success come from its small staff. It is easy to spot the team’s energy and fresh ideas in the newspaper. The choice of stories and treatment and the editing, design and layout have been consistently engaging. Guided and trained by some of the best in the industry, the experienced as also the young team has come a long way. By the grace of Allah, National Courier has a motivated, dedicated and brilliant team of editorial, reporters, contributors and lay-out designers. It is going on with its own way of work in a way to bring out complete newspapers in a very calm fashion and without any fuzz. You can find complete details of what is going on the national, international, economic, sports, intellectual and at society level. It unearths the big fish and has the courage to call the spade a spade no matter come what may. National Courier greatly respects the tenets of journalistic ethics and serves social purposes. It has all the ingredients of good publication like Information, Education, Leading, and Protection, Persuasion, Inspiration, Providing discussion forum and last but not the least Entertainment. Today, we pledge afresh to add new dimensions to our way of working in doing objective reporting and highlighting the real news and not indulge in yellow journalism. Keep it up, National Courier. We are proud of you!