KABUL: Editor-in-chief of Afghanistan Times, Abdul Saboor Sarir, on Monday said that the newspaper is committed to serve Afghan nation while following the principles of professionality and journalistic ethics.
At a ceremony marking the tenth anniversary of Afghanistan Times, the editor-in-chief said that there were many ups and downs, but the staffers remained committed to serve the nation.
The following is a transcript of Abdul Saboor Sarir’s speech.
In the name of Allah the Almighty
Prominent political, social and cultural personalities!
Educated scientists, wise elders and representatives of media in the country!
Dear audience, ladies and gentleman!
First of all, I on behalf of the board of directors and working group of Afghanistan Times newspaper welcome you all to this event.
Today we are celebrating the 10th anniversary of a printing media outlet— as a symbol of freedom of expression and institutionalization of the foundation of democracy while two days ago the coward enemies of Afghanistan targeted democracy and justice seekers, and killed and wounded our youths.
May Allah enter the martyrs of the bloody incident into Jannah. I wish speedy recovery for the wounded and patience for the bereaved families.
Ladies and gentleman!
After several months of consultations and preparations, Afghanistan Times, an English newspaper, started shining in the sky of printing media in the country on July 22, 2006. The paper lacking staffers printed on eight pages. Two pages of the paper from the day first were in color.
The aim to establish the paper was to deliver sound information, reflect the realities of society and present a true picture of events of the country to English-speaking community at home and abroad.
The policy of the paper is to defend the national interests and to avoid any negative trends in broadcasting.
Our vision for the future of the newspaper:
— Turning Afghanistan Times into a local English-language paper on par with newspapers of the regional countries
— Efforts for self-sufficiency
— Emerging Afghanistan Times as a national institute, which neither belongs to a person nor to the government institutions.
Dear fellows and friends!
We established the English-language newspaper in a society where had no supporters to English-language paper. Those who were able to work in English inscriptions were not familiar with media, and those who were had media skills could not speak English. And those who had both skills, we could not hire them because we were not able to pay them privileges that were offered by foreign and private organizations.
Difficulties that we faced during past 10 years are the indictors of our miseries, but we had strong intention to continue publishing the newspaper.
Despite all the challenges we did not stop, and moved forward, where today the paper entered into eleven years of its publication.
Afghanistan Times’ board of directors and staff have worked hard in the past 10 years to reach their goals and make a vision for the future. We have gained achievements in this period of time as following:
The number of the pages of the paper increased from eight to 12 with four color pages.
We all worked hard to reach the self-sufficiency. Since July 2009, we have not only reached self-sufficiency, but we also purchased a printing press from the income generated by the newspaper. Afghanistan Times has a modern printing press now. We have not received assistance from any source since July 2009.
Afghanistan Times emerged as a national institution in the past 10 years as we wished. The Dari-language Daily Dunia and Kabulscape, a monthly magazine, are published as the branches of the institution.
A person has been appointed as the concessionaire based on the media law, but the paper is not the property of someone and does not belong to the government either. This is an independent newspaper and belongs to the people managed by the board of directors, and its revenues are spent on its improvement.
Despite achievements, we had and have challenges as well.
Afghanistan Times has not gained a prominent position among the English-language newspaper in the region. We are relying on the news websites and agencies for contents.
Let me heartily thank our colleague Professor Sharif Fayez and Danish Karokhel, head of Pajhwok Afghan News agency, for their fruitful advice to Afghanistan Times.
I would like to especially appreciate the social figure and national trader Kamal Nabizada for sponsoring the today’s event.
At last, I would like to thank all of you for coming, and hope you have a good time with us.