The Nation begins its 42nd year today with a commitment to adhere to its founding principles and readiness to strengthen its presence on the new media frontiers.
Founded in 1971 in an attempt to break a market monopoly and prove Thais’ capability to produce an English-language newspaper, the publisher of The Nation has also produced the country’s leading business daily, a mass circulation newspaper, given birth to several quality broadcast journalists working under the Nation Channel, served as the core for regional print media cooperation, and been teaching students of Nation University how to be good reporters.
From one small table that “converged” everyone from junior reporters to page designers, news-gathering operations now involve hundreds of journalists who have been able to, or are learning to, multi-task, shooting photos, videos, uploading them and producing various kinds of digital content out of the materials.
“Our driving philosophy is we won’t let opportunities to break new ground pass by,” said Nation Multimedia chairman and editor-in-chief Suthichai Yoon. The Nation, he pointed out, was the first English-language newspaper to be produced mainly by Thais, whereas Krungthep Turakij was the first Thai business daily and Nation Channel became the first 24-hours-a-day news station.
Krungthep Turakij came out on October 6, 1987. Five years later, a weekly news magazine, Nation Weekend, launched its first edition. Nation Channel went on air for the first time on June 1, 2000.
About a year later, Kom Chad Luek, was born to breath fresh air into the Thai-language print media. Last year, NMG formed Nation University out of the old Yonok University, confident that true experiences and professionalism were the best groundwork for solid and effective mass communications study.
NMG reporters have been constantly adjusting themselves to technological changes and are ready for the tough challenges faced by the business of print media, he said.
The social media has been embraced, with hundreds of NMG journalists now using Twitter and Facebook to add value to their work, and two-way communication between them and the public have become routine.
Despite the fast, continuing changes to the media landscape, The Nation’s editor, Tulsathit Taptim, said the founding principles of the newspaper remain unchanged and are guiding how every NMG reporter does his or her job. “Today’s reporters of NMG are being guided by the very same principles and ethics held dear by the founding generation,” he said.
Suthichai has added a very important new principle, though. “Even the watchdog has to adjust itself to the technological changes so it will not become a dinosaur,” he wrote in his book “The Future of News.”