I am sad to inform you that we put the last issue of our weekly newspaper, Athens Plus, to bed tonight. A decision was taken earlier this week by our publishers to stop printing the newspaper.
I will not go into the details of why this decision was taken but I would like to remind you that Athens Plus, which was first-published two-and-a-half years ago, has won three design awards and was voted the best-designed weekly newspaper in Europe in 2008 – the first Greek newspaper to win this award. Also, since the first issue on June 13, 2008, it was built a faithful and sizeable readership in print and online.
A tremendous amount of work from a dedicated team went into producing Athens Plus each week. Clearly, mistakes were made along the way but nobody could fault the effort, commitment and inspiration that this group of journalists, copy editors, proof readers, designers and page maker s put into each issue.
Ten members of this team are now jobless. Although we all accept that it is part of life for people to be hired and fired, it’s galling when the loss of a person’s job has nothing to do with the quality of his or her work. This only exacerbates the guilt and sadness felt by the eight of us who are left behind to work on Kathimerini English Edition and its website.
Our loss, and the company’s loss, is epitomised by the fact that all 10 of those who were fired came into work for two extra days without pay to help put out the last ever issue of Athens Plus. I think this alone tells you about their character and professionalism and how much they all believed in what we were doing.
Bidding farewell to them was a painful experience but there is something that we can all take from this experience. We were involved in creating something from nothing and we did it as a real team. You don’t get to say that too many times in life. If we can all carry this with us alongside the valuable lessons we’ve learned thanks to Athens Plus, we will be stronger and wiser.
For those who supported us over the past couple of years, we are very thankful. We will do our best to be the best again.