Date with September 11 : Setting new benchmarks

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We are 18 today.

To the world, September 11 will obviously be remembered with the bringing down of the World Trade Centre and Osama bin Laden, but here in the remote corner of India, a revolution was being set in place with a group of young, dedicated professionals getting down to the business of bringing out the first edition of The Sangai Express on September 11, 1999.

Time flies by. In 18 years, The Sangai Express has laid down the agenda of what a newspaper should be in Manipur.

And this is no mean achievement.

At the risk of blowing our own trumpet, The Sangai Express has broken new grounds and set the benchmark, something which older newspapers published from Imphal have not been able to do.

This of course has been made possible due to the unstinted faith and support reposed by the readers, patrons and well wishers down the years.

18 years in the life of a newspaper is nothing, and this is precisely the reason why we do not study the impact and reach of a newspaper on the basis of the years it has been in publication, but on its content.

This is where we have focused our attention.

Contents which should appeal to all sections of the people and so it is that no efforts have been spared to catch the attention of all, starting from the serious readers who read between the lines and try to go deeper into what has been reported or commented upon to the younger readers who are more eager for the fast food like diet.

Our attention is also not only on Imphal and this is a fact which can best be exemplified by the introduction of the District Digest column two years back.

Moreover it has been our attempt to give equal footage to every part of the State and this is the reason why many news items from the hill districts occupy prime space on the front page.

Being neutral, this has been the guiding light since we went into print.

No one at The Sangai Express is a Meitei, a Naga, a Kuki or a Meitei Pangal, but a professional journalist who knows there is a job to be done.

This is the reason why we have always steered clear of any news item which may run down a community or cast them in bad light.

Gender equality is another aspect we firmly believe in and this is the reason why we have women Sub-editors.

By the very nature of their work, Sub-editors need to work late into the night or till the page they are assigned is put to bed and we have not shied from appointing women to the posts of Sub-editors.

The only condition we have always set is good communication skills and the commitment to work hard.

And yes as in the past, we will continue to keep a sharp watch over the working of the Government, its act of commission and omission and obviously this comes with its share of responsibilities.

This is not to say everything has been hunky dory.

There have been times when we have missed out on major news.

There have been times when we have missed out on following a story which should have been followed and there have been goof ups, such as giving misleading news caption, repeating news on different pages etc.

All these errors have made us more sensitive and to keep our eyes and ears glued to the work at hand.

Source: The Sangai Express

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