Tuesday, November 18, 2008
The earliest Greek newspaper in Thessaloniki was Ermis [Hermes] (1875), owned by the Garbola family of publishers, which circulated from 1881 to 1885 as Pharos tis Makedonias [Beacon of Macedonia]. The Macedonia newspaper first circulated in 1911 - the last year of Ottoman Rule – and is still published to this day. In a time of intense national conflict, both titles chose their name so as to promote their Greek perspective. After 1912, and above all in the interwar years, the daily and periodical press flourished in the new provinces of the Greek state. This publishing explosion was a reflection of the process of social and economic incorporation ofMacedonian territory into the free Greek state, as well as of the intense political processes.
Every Macedonian town and every political grouping that could bear the financial cost wanted to have its own clamouring voice; it is of course no coincidence that an impressive number of publications defined themselves as ‘Macedonian’, precisely so as to give their geographical position, with or without the aid of Alexander and Phillip, the ancient symbols. There were also numerous regular columns and feuilletons under the ‘Macedonian’ name, which dealt with localissues. The choice made by the dailies was followed by several assorted content periodical publications, though mainly literary magazines, which attempted to define the particular nature of their artistic quests through use of the Macedonian name, while also creating a distinct local Greek Macedonian tradition. In the field of books and academic studies, it is almost impossible torecord all the Macedonian titles. Yet, here too, one can discern the geographical use – within the framework of Greek administrative boundaries - on the one hand, and the symbolic use on the other, by reference to the glorious tradition of ancient times and the fighting of recent years.
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