Wed | Sep 19, 2018

Gleaner 180 - We did it for you

Published:Saturday | September 13, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Christopher Barnes

On the afternoon of Saturday, September 13, 1834, the very first edition of The Gleaner, and Weekly Compendium of News was published and made available at Water Lane in Kingston.

On the front page of the paper that day, the publisher's intentions were made clear. The Gleaner, it stated, would "be found to contain every circumstance of importance that may occur during the week. Much original matter, with choice selections from European and American publications of merit, thus forming a paper, the want of which has been much felt in Jamaica."

It's been 180 years since that first paper was printed and The Gleaner has, in that time, grown into a staple of Jamaican life. For 180 years this paper has remained committed to the important and sometimes arduous work of bringing to readers 'every circumstance of importance' in a fair, balanced and honest way. We've covered floods and earthquakes, riots and fires.

We've brought news of heroes and exposed the deeds of villains. We've highlighted acts of kindness and revealed political misdeeds. For 180 years The Gleaner has set out to serve our readers by adhering to the principles of first-class journalism and the highest standards of management. We have not, and will not, veer from this course. We do this because we believe in the greatness of this nation and its people. In the first edition of The Gleaner, the publisher pledged to "use his utmost endeavours to make the paper worthy" of readers' support". That remains our goal today.

The Gleaner is now a multimedia company with continuing dominance in print, a substantive presence in radio and an ever-growing appeal online. Our reach is now global and our work, in many ways, much harder. But even as we adapt to the needs of a changing world, our commitment to our readers remains as simple and as honest as stated on our front page 180 years ago. We are humbled and thankful to you, our readers and advertisers, for your unfaltering loyalty, and remain dedicated to making our output worthy of your support. Thank you, Jamaica, for 180 years. We have done it all for you.

- Managing director of The Gleaner, Christopher Barnes.