Today, the Visayan DAILY STAR celebrates its 20th year. To us in the Manila Press who have seen quite a number of some of the best national newspapers come and go, the Visayan DAILY STAR’s survival is no mean feat.
The paper turned out its first edition on April 12, 1982 calling itself the Newsman’s Newspaper which it later took off to label itself as the community newspaper. Its founding fathers were a group of newspapermen and their friends in the Negros civic and business society.
It is at present being run by Ninfa R. Leonardia who has been its President since 1983 and Editor-in-Chief since 1987.Its board chairman since the beginning is Primo Esleyer who is also a columnist.
The DAILY STAR is located in its own 3-storey building at Bacolod City’s main street where it also has its printing facilities. It is fully computerized and has color capability.
The accusation often leveled against community newspapers is that, except for a very few exceptions, they are not professionally done.I am not quite sure what the standards of professionalism are; but I take it that what the accusers really mean is that the community papers do not read nor look like the metropolitan papers.That really doesn’t bother me a lot because I can think of a number of metropolitan newspapers that do not meet professionalism criteria of any kind.Measured along professional models, in my book, the DAILY STAR meets the standards.
The DAILY STAR has grown to become the largest circulated daily in Negros Island and the number one in revenue.Spelled out differently, the newspaper is being read; and because it is being read, advertisers have no choice but to put across their message in the paper.It also means that last year, and this year, the paper gave a hundred percent return on initial investment, a record unique even in the Manila press.
The other intangibles that have made the DAILY STAR last this long are fairness, fearlessness and integrity.And in the provinces far away from Manila’s probing public eyes these impalpable values are of greater virtue.
To the men and women of the Visayan DAILY STAR, congratulations on your 20th year and we are sure that you will have more years to come.*