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Columnists

TNH at 25: What’s in Store for the Next Quarter Century?

A quarter of a century has passed since The National Herald began being published regularly as a weekly English edition, to accompany its daily sister Greek edition Ethnikos Kirix. This development was historic in and of itself, as it signaled a new journalistic era for Greek America and responded to the needs of a new demographic – second, third, and even fourth-generation Greek-Americans whose dominant language is English, but whose interest in community affairs, Hellenism, and their ancestral Hellenic homeland rivals that of their Greek-speaking forefathers.

This new edition to national Greek-American media, which was launched at the twilight of the 20th century, on the cusp of a new millennium, was also historic considering the era in which it embarked upon its journalistic journey. During its quarter-century of existence, major changes have occurred across the globe, and in the Community as well. The Fourth Industrial Revolution has reshaped the way the world behaves and communicates through the virtual omnipresence of the Internet and its revolutionary impact on all aspects of life. Naturally, the impact of these ‘tectonic shifts’ has shaped the development of TNH as well.

During this same period, our two homelands on either side of the Atlantic Ocean faced their fair share of challenges, which left an indelible mark on their contemporary history. Whether it was the events of 9/11, the Great Recession, or the Greek debt crisis and developments in Europe, TNH was on hand to cover the stories and analyze the events. On the home front, TNH served as a key source of information and forum for discourse regarding seminal events affecting the life of the local Church, triumphs and letdowns in the Community, as well as feature stories documenting the successes of individual Greek-Americans.

However, this commemoration of a quarter-century of operation – no small feat in our new digital reality, which proved too much for many traditional newspapers to adapt to – also requires that we look toward the future. Like any institution that has withstood the test of time knows, the present is but the tail end of the future, and if you want the luxury of being able to reminisce about ‘yesterday’, you must first ensure that there will be ‘tomorrow’.

And so, this begs the question: What will the next 25 years have in store? Rapid developments in the technology sector are reshaping the journalistic playing field. As extended reality technologies – virtual, augmented, and mixed reality – continue developing, reporters gain new tools to capture events, and readers/viewers have increasingly more options with which to experience them. If the establishment of TNH’s English edition coincided with the rise of Internet journalism, the next 25 years will likely see the rise of ‘smart’ newspapers, which will become increasingly more interactive and engage more of readers’ senses through integrated Web 3.0 technologies. Likewise, the capabilities of news websites, accessible through traditional (sic) means like computers and mobile phones, will become available on new devices, like smart glasses or other smart wearables – all of which promise to heighten user experience and immersion. During this exciting time of technological innovation, TNH will proudly represent the Greek-American Community in this transition into a new era.

This plethora of novel digital tools will likely prove more necessary than ever before in keeping up with developments moving at unprecedented speeds.

Change abounds. Just as contactless payments largely replaced cash over the previous 25 years, the prevalence of cryptocurrencies and digital money will likely change the way the global economy operates altogether. Just as TNH covered the adoption of the euro, which replaced the monetary units of individual European states, including the drachma, in the years to come, it will report on the worldwide transition to digital currency.

Global developments, including crises such as wars, pandemics, and climate change will likely alter many of our standard practices or affect things that we take for granted today. If the first 25 years is any indication, TNH’s coverage and analysis will play a seminal role in the Community’s understanding of these challenges, as well as what hidden opportunities will accompany them.

From its reporting regarding the rebuilding of the St. Nicholas Shrine at Ground Zero to its feature stories on Greek scholars and professionals who came to America following the brain drain triggered by the Greek debt crisis, TNH has been covering inspirational personal and community stories that highlight triumph in the face of adversity. Over the next 25 years, a new generation of Greek-Americans will draw inspiration from the personification of ‘philotimo’ detailed in TNH’s stories.

Whether covering breaking news in the Diaspora, celebrating achievements and milestones at the national or community level, heralding Greek America’s favorite sons and daughters, commemorating emblematic community figures, providing unique insight into Hellenism’s rich culture and history, promoting diverse opinions through its commentaries and editorials, or showcasing local businesses and industries, TNH has established its journalistic presence, resonating with a new generation of diverse readers from all across America and even abroad.

Yet despite all the changes taking place around us, there are certain constants that enable Greek America to maintain its bearings and set its course toward the midpoint of the 21st century. These constants – the Hellenic culture, Orthodox Christian faith, characteristic ideals and values that unite Greek-Americans, love for our ancestral Greek and Cypriot homelands, the Diaspora experience that has been associated with Hellenism since antiquity – remain at the heart of TNH’s journalistic orientation and contribution.

Together with its Greek sister edition, which is over a century old, TNH has been making a significant contribution over the past quarter century, and aims to do the same as it heads towards its semi-centennial. Here’s hoping that the next 25 years will include plenty of monumental occasions and historical moments for Hellenism and the Greek-American Diaspora, captured for posterity through the reporting and singular journalistic perspective of The National Herald.

Follow me on Twitter @CTripoulas

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