“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens was compulsory reading during my school days some 60 years ago. For some mysterious reason, those words never left my head and kept reverberating in my mind throughout my youth and adulthood.
I spoke those words for all occasions. Whether it was the best of times or whether it was the worst of times, they always had a profound meaning.
Neither I nor anyone in this world could have imagined that these words prophesized that one day we would live in an age of hope and doom at the same time.
When the coronavirus pandemic hit, we believed that Thailand would be spared from the spread of the deadly virus. But that sense of relief soon disappeared, COVID-19 reared its ugly head in our country. Thailand shut her doors, declared a state of emergency and lockdown. The economy took a tumble. Tens of thousands of people lost their jobs. Families suffered. Long queues were seen all over the country anxiously waiting to get a portion of food for themselves and their children.
Even before that, the economy was already suffering and businesses were shutting down left, right and centre. Pattaya Mail was hit hard too. The pandemic forced businesses to shut down temporarily and some permanently. Most of our advertising revenue was put on hold or disappeared altogether. We had to take drastic measures to save our business and at the same time to ensure that the livelihoods of our loyal staff of more than twenty years did not suffer.
We were already aware that the print media was going through tough challenges, but we continued to persevere, proving that the print media still plays a vital role in every community.
But the writing was on the wall, so to speak. More and more clients asked for ‘online’ advertising.
In August last year, for the first time in 26 years, we reluctantly reduced the frequency of our printed weekly newspaper to a fortnightly one.
Though Pattaya Mail has operated a website since 1997, it was only in recent years that our editorial and marketing team had the foresight to start developing our immense capabilities on the digital media platforms. So when the many crises hit, our digital media services were already running on full steam. Today we operate 5 websites, www.pattayamail.com, www.pattayablatt.com, www. chiangmai-mail.com, www.thai.pattayamail.com and www.thai.chiangmai-mail.com, The Pattaya Mail Daily Newsletter, Facebook pages, LINE news broadcasts and Electronic Direct Marketing services.
But whether we publish in print or online, Pattaya Mail does business with the highest levels of integrity and honesty.
Chuck Pringle, our first editor said, “We can look back and laugh at some of our agonies, but of this we can be proud; we maintained our stance and told the truth. There were times when that became very difficult, but we followed the principle of that great publisher Randolph Hearst whose immortal tenet was ‘Publish and be damned.’”
Pattaya Mail is always at the forefront when it comes to serving the community, in any way or form. Our newspaper and our online media are made available if it can help in any way, directly or indirectly, to alleviate the hardships of others.
Dan Dorothy, our Executive Editor, has overseen growth and consolidation since shortly after our birth on July 23, 1993, which has continued through to today. “Our priority of presenting readable editorial material has helped maintain the quality of the paper. Our commitment has made people realise the fact that we have a precious jewel here and we must guard and nurture it.
“There’s no paper like us in the world. It is unique in the fact that it is all locally written but with international appeal. We are not restricted like the ‘big boys’. We are restricted only by our conscience.”
As we venture into our 28th year, the commitment to excellence is even stronger than it ever was. While no one is ever perfect, nor is any newspaper without its detractors, the Pattaya Mail Media Group, now from a secure base, reinforces our commitment to serve the Eastern Seaboard with truth, honour and integrity.
I thank you, our readers, our advertisers, our supporters, our critics and our friends. Thank you for giving all of us here at Pattaya Mail the opportunity to serve you.
I bow in humble gratitude to all that is sacred for giving us the strength and courage to carry out our noble work thus far. We pray that we are granted even more strength in our resolve to continue to serve our community for as long as we possibly can.
Our family throughout the years. Some have gone off to seek their own fortunes and we miss them very much. Many are still with us united in our continuing adventure. Together we will definitely get through these troubled times.