The Cyprus Mail marks 70 years
On November the Englishlanguage the oldest published newspaper on the island, will celebrate its 70th anniversary, a remarkable achievement for a tightly knit, family-run publication that prides itself on its independence and objectivity.
When Jacovos ‘Jaco’ Jacovides published the first issue of the
– then, just a tiny, twopage tabloid – on November 2, 1945, World War II had just ended. In a time of paper rationing, power cuts and an increasingly repressive British colonial government, he took a big financial gamble.
For the paper’s readers it was a gamble that paid off. Through the pages of the they were kept informed of the profound impact of the post-war years on Cyprus. Events ranged from the detention in Cyprus of thousands of Jewish refugees trying to break the British blockade and reach Palestine in the late 1940s, to the rise of EOKA and its demand for Enosis in the 1950s.
From the flawed independence of 1960 to the intercommunal troubles of 1960s, and from the coup and Turkish invasion of 1974 to the tortuous attempts to stitch the country back together ever since, the has stayed true to its readers provided objective news coverage.
Its editorial and comments sections have long been hugely popular. The paper’s independence means that nothing is above scrutiny, however controversial. The
has never been scared to criticise, whether it’s a government, a political party or a company. This has earned it some enemies down the years, but also a lot of respect and readership loyalty.
Few professions have changed more in the last 70 years than the newspaper industry. When Jaco published his first issue in 1945, his concern was about lines of lead print, paper availability and buying a printing press that could produce a whopping six page newspaper. Even when he died, more than 40 years later in 1988, those concerns had not changed significantly.
and Since his two sons took over, the
has had to enter a whole new publishing world, first with computerisation and more recently with the internet. The paper’s print edition is still a source of pride but, like all newspapers, the is also focusing on its web edition and meeting the needs of its everexpanding number of readers worldwide who expect constantly updated news.
The has met these new challenges head-on so successfully that it is the number one English language news website in Cyprus. Aside from its loyal Cyprus-based readers, the paper’s reach is truly global. People in Britain, Australia, the United States and South Africa, for example, now rely on the for their news and views on Cyprus.
As part of the paper’s 70th anniversary celebrations, the has been uploading highlights from its archives (www.cyprus-mail.com click on ‘70 Years’).