As Garhwal Post enters the Silver Jubilee Year of its existence, it is time for recollection and introspection. Recollecting the struggle and achievements of the past years as an ‘independent’ newspaper renews the confidence for the future challenges – some of them quite unexpected such as the ongoing corona pandemic. Introspection, of course, is necessary to ensure that we stay on the right path, of objectivity as required by the journalistic calling. It is worth mentioning here that this does not imply an artificial impartiality that provides a platform to anti-national or anti-social forces that damage India’s foundational principles of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ and ‘Satyamev Jayate’. In fact, the effort should be to the contrary – to quell elements whose activities invariably result in loss of human lives and check the momentum towards progress and development. The test of this, always, is the quality of discourse, the use of logic, and level of knowledge. Information, by itself, is not enough – the ability to examine it and arrive at the right conclusions is also necessary. By no means does Garhwal Post claim to do this perfectly, but the effort is exactly that.
‘Independent’ journalism implies not just the intellectual content, it also has to do with survival as a commercial entity – nothing comes for free. The competition for a regional newspaper is with the behemoths that straddle the field and command enormous resources. However, it is the readers’ desire for alternative viewpoints that provides a small newspaper the strength to survive, particularly in an intellectually blessed city like Dehradun. There are also the long lasting ‘familial’ relationships developed over the years with generous patrons who have the capacity to look beyond just immediate advantages for the sake of society as a whole.
But it is survival at best, which makes the newspaper a lean and mean fighting machine. This is what made it easy to face the pandemic type challenges without skipping a beat – work from home was already a well established practice for the journalists at the paper! If there are problems, these are due to the fact that technology and trends are running against print journalism as a whole. There is an entire generation that has lost the habit of reading newspapers and grabs information off the screens in predigested bits. Even here, though, the best material is provided by established journalists from newspapers of repute and long experience. Much of the rest is disinformation, influence-peddling and promotion of thought-cocoons. Social media can only take up just so much space from professional journalism – the readers’ discretion decides what remains. (We do have presence on the net. We intend to do even more.)
As we prepare for another year of reporting and commenting, we thank, once again, our many contributors, advertisers and readers for making it all possible.