“When was Εθνικός Κήρυκας – Ethnikos Kirikas – founded?”
That was the immediate question of my interlocutor, after he had just been introduced to me during my recent visit to Greece.
This question, I sensed, did not reflect real interest in the newspaper, or the Hellenes of America, but was simply an attempt to demean the Greek-American Community.
I was so annoyed that I was close to turning my back to him.
I decided, however, that his punishment would be greater if I answered the question.
So I cleared my throat and responded with some sarcasm: “Of course,” I told him, “a cosmopolitan man like you knows that the Ethnikos Kirikas was founded in 1915.”
He stood there dumbfounded, openmouthed, and before he could recover, I added, “Not only that, but in just a few days, on April 2, we will celebrate it’s 104th anniversary.”
His surprise was suddenly transformed into admiration. “You don’t say! Why, in Greece there is no newspaper that old, with the exception of Estia.”
And yet, it is so.
Ethnikos Kirikas – the name of our English language edition is a literal translation: The National Herald – is the newspaper of the Greek-American Community, which is referred to in Greek as the Omogeneia.
The newspaper is evolving – like its English language edition – from a local to an international newspaper – without ever losing touch with its Greek Community origins and its mission, thanks to the miracle of technology.
Thus, both on one hand the knowledge of the existence of the Hellenic Diaspora and, on the other hand, the awareness of the importance of its achievements, is growing.
As a result, while people in Greece and elsewhere initially encounter us with a dose of suspicion, later they develop a combination of admiration for Greeks abroad, and sorrow for what separates us as Hellenes.
Perhaps, however, no one feels as much admiration for the Hellenes Abroad, and such a keen awareness of the phenomenon of the Ethnikos Kirix, as I do, along with my associates.
Now, some people ask me: What is the secret of its success? What is the recipe that allowed the paper to reach such a milestone?
The answer is simple: The secret of our success is that the operation of the Ethnikos Kirikas is in harmony with its mission.
On the first day of his publication on April 2, 1915, Ethnikos Kirikas signed a contract of honor with its readers: To offer honest and accurate information and to treat the delicate relationship of trust with them as if our life depended on it – which it does.
This kind of relationship is also dependent on a mutual understanding of one another’s needs and how to support one another, newspaper and community.
This contract of honor, trust, and mutual support, which continues to be honored by both sides, made it possible for the newspaper to thrive for 104 years since its establishment.
This contract of honor, trust, and mutual support makes it possible to record the Community’s news, on a daily basis, to produce “the first draft” of its history as Ben Bradlee, the renowned editor of the Washington Post, used to say.
This contract of honor, trust, and mutual support, if preserved on both sides, and if it is complemented by the ability of the newspaper to absorb and apply technological developments, will make it possible to celebrate many more anniversaries of the only daily newspaper of the Hellenes Abroad, the Ethnikos Kirikas.
And this also strengthens our English language edition as well.
I thank you for your continued support from the bottom of my heart.