Re­gional News T&T Mir­ror, Sun­day Punch close doors

Stabroek News - - STARBROEK NEWS -

(Trinidad Guardian) Af­ter 36 years in ex­is­tence, the T&T Mir­ror and Sun­day Punch news­pa­pers are no more.

The last copy of the weekly pub­li­ca­tions went on sale yes­ter­day at news stands as the Curepe based Mir­ror Group Pub­li­ca­tion Ltd com­pany es­tab­lished in 1982 has ceased op­er­a­tions, cit­ing fi­nan­cial dif­fi­cul­ties and de­clin­ing ad­ver­tis­ing rev­enue as con­tribut­ing fac­tors for its sud­den death.

The founder of the pa­pers was the late Pa­trick Chookolingo.

Chookolingo first came out with the Na­tional Tar­get, which was even­tu­ally scrapped.

Shortly af­ter Chookolingo lashed out with Tues­day and Fri­day Mir­rors, as well as the Sun­day Punch.

The birth of the Show­time News­pa­per came years later. The Tues­day Mir­ror and Show­time be­came de­funct.

In an ar­ti­cle in the fi­nal T&T Mir­ror pub­li­ca­tion dated Novem­ber 9, it bid its fi­nal farewell to its read­ers.

For­mer ed­i­tor of the Fri­day Mir­ror and Sun­day Punch, Ken Ali said the wrap­ping up of the pub­li­ca­tions was a re­fusal to in­no­vate, as the me­dia land­scape has been evolv­ing. “The weekly press made it­self ob­so­lete. My great­est sad­ness over this is that it ap­pears to be the end of the Chooko era .... the end of an era in the me­dia. Pa­trick Chookolingo was one of the finest jour­nal­ists of mod­ern times. He stood for free speech. He stood up for the sa­cred cows in so­ci­ety.”

Ali who worked along­side stal­warts such as the late Keith Shep­pard and Raf­fique Shah de­scribed the death of the news­pa­pers as a great dis­ap­point­ment.

Shah, who worked as manag­ing ed­i­tor from 1986 to 1999, said he was taken aback by the news.

“Given the state econ­omy on the one hand and the world of tech­nol­ogy... in par­tic­u­lar so­cial me­dia this would have con­tributed im­mensely to the Mir­ror not be­ing a vi­able en­ter­prise again,” Shah said.

Pa­trick’s son, Daniel Chookolingo, who served as CEO for 20 years, said he was shocked by the news.

Chookolingo ad­mit­ted that he had taken the com­pany to court “for shares” stat­ing that he could not pro­vide any in­for­ma­tion.

“This is a long story. The com­pany will ex­ist but the pub­li­ca­tion will close up. I am sad­dened by that. I feel a heav­i­ness in my heart. The legacy my fa­ther built is now dead,” said Chookol­ing

Chookolingo said the news­pa­per was a train­ing ground for many jour­nal­ists.

Chookolingo re­mem­bered Andy John­son, Dale Enoch and Wes­ley Gib­bings cut­ting their teeth in jour­nal­ism at their es­tab­lish­ment.

The first sign of fi­nan­cial woes came when the com­pany cut its work­days from five to three a few months ago.

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