TODAY marks a very special day in the GDN’s history; we’re 40 years old!
And this symbolic ruby anniversary sees us, like that flaming gem, still sparkling bright.
We’ve obviously evolved a great deal since the excitement of our launch in 1978 as Bahrain’s first daily English language newspaper.
I can still remember when we were in our raucous prime at the Arabian Press premises, and used to love the gleaming process by which words were set in hot metal, forged into huge curved plates, clamped on to our enormous Press, and sent out to every corner of Bahrain by fleets of early morning vans.
We have evolved into a dynamic brand, allied with our online platforms that form part of a daily routine for thousands, if not millions of people in Bahrain and beyond.
With 40 years of growth, innovation and news to our credit, the GDN hopefully still has a sound future despite high-tech challenges, which we are embracing as part of our unrivalled overall media package.
Certainly we have to accept that the days when newspapers had the sort of concentrated power to defy authority are in decline.
The Internet, all too easily manipulated and censored, is taking over.
We still need courageous newspapers though, to doubly strengthen the forces of liberty and law. In fact the dignity of any newspaper rests on the degree of its fidelity to truth and boundary-breaking reporting.
For we will always act as a mirror of society, a mode of mass communication often guiding the common man in how to think and discuss.
I like to believe that we have also served as an important, fearless medium in controlling corruption and social exploitation, especially at Bahrain government level, creating community awareness and prompting raised voices against issues like child abuse, people trafficking, drug dealing, or simply tangled bureaucracy.
Along the way we have chronicled all the important events in Bahrain’s history hopefully crossing national, linguistic, ethnic and socio-economic barriers particularly in times of crisis, like those that engulfed Bahrain in 2011.
Every important event, reflected in our pages over the last 40 years, will be featured in a special anniversary edition later this year.
I have been privileged as Editor-in-Chief to be a front seat witness to all these milestones since joining the paper in 1978.
And it would be great to hear from people about their relationship with the Gulf Daily News, whether as readers or customers. Maybe you or your family members have memories they would like to share? It would be fabulous to publish some of them.