A new reading experience
(Inaugural editorial of the Weekend Express launched last week follows)
(August 23, 2016, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Welcome to the Express experience. In this age of connectivity, when new forms of media have proven to be an effective tool in disseminating information, we are taking a bold step forward and launching a newspaper that embraces Marshall McLuhan’s idea of ‘global village’ from a print perspective.
This is perhaps the best of times for media in Sri Lanka. There have been several positive developments in the media landscape that have seen the country move up from its bottom rung placement in the global ranking. We can also now boast of a Right to Information Act that makes access to information a legitimate right for everyone. Significantly, there is now space for dissent, no arbitrary blocking of news websites and journalists are increasingly venturing into areas they wouldn’t have dared to before. Yet, we’ve chosen not to take the traditional route expected of the local print media and have instead ventured on a bold new path, opting to look at the broader picture and truly sculpt a niche for ourselves in the cosmopolitan world.
So welcome to the Express experience. Beginning today we will be bringing you the 12-page Weekend Express, with the 16-page glossy magazine, The Connoisseur every Friday and the 8-page Daily Express from Monday to Thursday, focusing largely on the world outside, but remaining committed to what’s happening at home.
Our pages are limited, because we want to give back to our readers the true joy of reading a newsworthy paper. Our stories will matter, but our style will be simple, where less will be more. Our news sources will be many and varied, our opinions fresh and diverse. We will strive to maintain the high standards of the international media, especially the New York Times, who are partnering us for the coverage of US Elections 2016, and promise to be the alternative to the politically saturated national press.
We promise to offer both hard-hitting original reporting and ideas-driven journalism about people, institutions and issues that matter in Sri Lanka and the world over. We’ll be opinionated but never partisan, and we hope to bring perspective, not punditry through our pages. We will aspire to provoke and inspire and we hope above everything else the readers will come to rely on the Weekend and Daily Express as a place for responsible journalism.
Benjamin Franklin once warned that, “There can be no freedom without responsibility.” The media freedom we aspire for, the freedom we now enjoy, is much a right as it is a responsibility, a responsibility that demands we put the interests and expectations of our readers first, second and last. This is a responsibility we take seriously, as we embark on this new journey, putting into practice the universally accepted ‘canons of journalism’ that emphasise on the principles of truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness and public accountability — as these apply to the acquisition of newsworthy information and its subsequent dissemination to the public.
So here is our first offering, with a surfeit of consequential stories that are not always the stuff of daily headlines. Our inaugural issue includes ideas-driven articles about the election in the United States, consequences of partition that created Pakistan and a report card on the performance of the Maithripala Sirisena- Ranil Wickremesinghe government by authoritative writers from Sri Lanka and abroad. Every day, we’ll add to those print features with original reporting, smart columns, newsy profiles and more.
Enjoy your copy of Weekend Express, which will be delivered to you free today, and join us in an exciting journey of discovery.
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