More than thirty years have passed since then, yet I remember it as if it were yesterday.
It was Thanksgiving eve when the trucks that carried the components of our brand new printing press arrived after a long journey from Texas. It was assembled on the site of our headquarters on Crescent Street in Long Island City, which we had prepared to receive it.
We all waited there, first and foremost my late father Εraklis, who was consumed with anxiety over when the press would arrive.
A few days later, after the various pieces were assembled and the press started operating, despite the usual unexpected initial problems, I cannot describe the thrill of hearing and feeling the magnificent machine rumble as it came to life and began to send out that day’s edition into the world. And I felt a surge of confidence for the future of the newspaper.
The National Herald is strongly founded on the long history of the Greek-American community and rests firmly on the shoulders of its loyal readers and dedicated collaborators. And at that moment it became deeply rooted in the Earth – it had its own press. It was not dependent on others. We could print as many copies as we liked – up to a maximum of 24 pages – whenever we wanted.
The National Herald, with that new high-speed press, was insured of a future as bright as, if not brighter than its past.
Today, I have the same feelings, though in a different historical and technological context, watching our new Greek and English websites go ‘live,’ after months of hard work and substantial investment.
I feel that we are securing our future as a journalistic organization that serves, primarily, the Greek Diaspora.
Not that the previous websites were not good – for those, I owe a big ‘thank you’ to Dimitris Tsichlis.
But living organisms – and that is what institutions are – in order to stay alive, must keep a close eye on technological developments. If they do not keep up with them, they are pushed to the sidelines. And sooner or later they die.
The National Herald keeps abreast of the revolutionary technological developments of our time. We know that more and more people are informed through the internet. That is why we began our electronic publications a decade ago, which attracts an international audience of Greeks, and which enjoy explosive growth rates.
Please note, I am not denigrating our printed editions at all. On the contrary, I think they still have many decades to live. Perhaps you are like me. I start my day reading three newspapers, in their paper incarnations – otherwise I feel that I have not been properly informed.
And yet, during the day, I very often follow the websites of the same newspapers that I first read in paper form to keep up to date with the latest news.
Of course, it is not just the way the newspaper is presented that matters, no matter how good it looks on paper or in digital form.
Above all, it is valid and timely information that makes the difference. There are countless websites now. But the ones that stand out, the ones that people run to for information, are the reputable websites, and they are usually those of the reputable print publications.
I am especially proud because our new websites are the fruit of the love, over many months, of my children, Vanessa and Eraklis, who have taken over the reins of our journalistic organization over the last two years – working closely with the team of outside technicians who set them up as well as our talented, dedicated associates who manage our websites, and the entire team of The National Herald, wherever they are.
I express to all my warm congratulations, my joy and pride in their achievement.
I could not feel more confident about the future of this historic newspaper to which I dedicated my career.