Layoffs. Pay cuts. Terminations. Newsroom closures. High production costs. Low circulation. Credibility. Rat-infested stuff.
These are the few words familiar to those associated with the newspaper industry. These formidable terms have been staying here for years, making the newspaper industry and careers things of bygone. In such circumstances, the idea of bringing out a new newspaper was quite crazy idea. Family, friends and well-wishers, all threw a word of caution to me. Given the grim situation of the media, their words carried weight and wisdom. Despite all odds, Minute Mirror is hitting the launch today – September 19, 2021.
The editorial of the today paper explains the ideology and guiding principles of the newspaper, whereas in this space, the crazy idea of bringing out the new newspaper will be explained.
This new venture is solely betting on the commitment and determination of its staff. A happy, motivated, editorial squad will make or break the newspaper. The management can take care of the welfare of the staff by ensuring their social security benefits besides giving them full editorial independence. Editorial independence, however, puts responsibility on the staff. Though there can be no definite evaluation of the journalistic work, public opinion and assessment, however, will help us assess the work of our journalists. If the newspaper is publishing real public concerns, and is acting as a powerful watchdog on government agencies, it means the newspaper is on the right track. A story without credible, solid material should not make to the pages. A story making the rounds for the last 24hours should not get published if there is no fresh, unique development in it. A story promoting or defaming a person(s) is not our journalistic mission. These are tough goals set for our newsroom, especially in the ongoing situation when access to information is hard, people are afraid of blowing whistle and journalists lack resources and sources to hit the right spot. We will, however, wait and work more and more to supply the accurate and meaningful information to the public.
A continuous professional development of journalists has been devised under which the staff will undergo trainings, tours and academic discussions. Why training the working journalists is the question which is often asked with much curiosity. Well, the field of journalism is evolving rapidly and technology is continuously disrupting the old fashioned working. What if we train a journalist and later on they leave, I am often reminded.
What if we do not train them and they do not leave – is my ready response.
Government and non-government organizations will find Minute Mirror a valuable partner to promote the development works carried out by them. Most of the time, the tendency of journalists to ignore development works ignores developmental gains. A greater focus on development works will entail greater accountability.
In recent times, nationalism has suffered a lot at the hand of reckless journalism. This newspaper will never compromise on national interests. That does not mean to become the mouthpiece of certain people or institutions. The basic commitment of this newspaper is with Pakistan, the state of Pakistan and the people of Pakistan. The newspaper also expects active government support to maintain its highest standard of journalism.
Coming back to the financial crisis the industry is facing and how to protect the financial and professional interests of its staff, well, the newspaper will work under smart working mechanism. The staff will work under hi-tech environment. The efficient working, public support and good marketing techniques will keep the newspaper float.