Melbourne-based Greek community newspaper Neos Kosmos celebrated its 60th anniversary with a special anniversary edition published on December 7, illustrating its enduring appeal despite the challenges of the digital age.
“There is a personal relationship between readers and the newspaper,” editor-in-chief Sotiris Hatzimanolis told Kathimerini before the anniversary edition was printed.
Readers of Neos Kosmos – which appears every Monday, Thursday and Saturday – are generally over the age of 50 and continue to send letters to the editor or call its offices to comment on articles. The most recent controversial issue was November’s referendum on same-sex marriage. “They called to express their opposition, but that didn’t stop them from buying us,” Hatzimanolis said.
Neos Kosmos was founded in 1957 by Dimitri Gogos and was considered quite radical in its early days. “Unlike existing newspapers, Neos Kosmos encouraged Greek workers to demand their rights,” says Hatzimanolis, who has run the newspaper since 1992.
“The Greeks in Australia were rather conservative, but our newspaper ended up convincing them,” he added.
Neos Kosmos has also been an active advocate for the Greek community, organizing soup kitchens and often acting as a mediator in bureaucratic matters. “Thanks to the recent influx of Greeks in recent years, we have become a reference again,” said the editor-in-chief. “They come to us for information and we report on unfavorable legislation, opportunities and risks for prospective migrants.”
The 60-year-old newspaper is not the only Greek print media in Australia, however, as Melbourne also hosts Ta Nea (in Greek) and Sydney has the Elliniko Kyrikas (Greek Herald). Greek Australians can also keep up to date with developments in both countries on multilingual radio station SBS. “We have a two-hour show, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., where we present the main news from Greece and the world, as well as community issues,” explained journalist Panos Apostolou.
SBS operates like Deutsche Welle and BBC, devoting airtime to most communities across the country based on their population size. Greeks are still entitled to a two-hour slot thanks to the recent wave of new arrivals from crisis-hit Greece.