Death of a newspaper


By Ahmet Abdulaziz………

Over the past 40 plus years, that I remained connected to the field of journalism, I  have witnessed both death and birth of newspapers/magazines. On more than one occasion I was  part of the team who ran a newspaper and then one day we witnessed the last breath of the same newspaper, for which we had worked so hard.

During the same period of time, I had been part of the team who worked hard to launch a newspaper. I witnessed those days of hard labour, when we planned and worked out dummy newspapers, before the real newspaper got its first issue out. It is only a journalist who can feel the real thrill and sensation during the process of birth of a newspaper.

The feelings are indeed unexplainable, when  a team of journalists see the first issue of the newspaper, to which they were attached, coming out of the printing press, at the late hours of the night. Those scenes do pass by in my mind now, as I try to recall those unforgettable moments of my life.

But apart from the feelings that  journalists experience witnessing the birth of a newspaper, it is really dreadful to witness the death of a newspaper. I had seen newspapers that were forced to close down, due to political reasons. I witnessed newspapers closed down due to financial reasons.  I also witnessed one newspaper which died along with its owner/editor in chief. The death of the editor in chief had left no-one else to continue the newspaper, and it died its own death, the next morning.

However, I personally feel that it’s really difficult to be part of a newspaper, which appears to be inching forward towards its own death. Yes, I am referring to the most common reason of death of newspapers. It is the finance. Apart from everything inside a newspaper, what is most important is the money to keep it going on.  It is really painful to see a newspaper facing financial difficulties, which soars with the passage of time, and ultimately there comes a day when there remains no other way out but to close the newspaper.

Throughout my life I remained very emotionally attached to journalism, which in fact never became my profession. I know that every publisher, every editor, every journalist and everyone attached to the newspaper do have an emotional attachment with the newspaper, and they all feel real pain in their heart, seeing the newspaper on the death bed.

But this is life. Here the realities are the norms of life. Here we feel happy on birth and cry on death. May it be a human life or a newspaper.