Chiang Mai Mail celebrates 6 years and
300 editions of informing and entertaining
We’re looking forward to 7 - and many more
Anniversaries… they come and go, often forgotten or ignored, equally
often used as just another excuse for a night out. The meaningful element of
recognising a milestone seems, these days, to be somewhat “left out” of our
consciousness. However, anniversaries truly are milestones, times when we
should look at our achievements, examine our mistakes, and plan for the
times ahead. Then, perhaps, we should toast the entirety, the good times and
the bad, in champagne, (or even Chang…), and get on with our lives.
This newspaper, recently, enjoyed two anniversaries, although perhaps
“enjoyed” was the wrong word as we’ve been mostly too busy to take notice of
On October 26, the Chiang Mai Mail reached the grand young age of 6
years, and, this last week, we’ve been in preparation for our 300th issue.
These last 6 years have been interesting, to say the least, and events look
to become even more so in the immediate future, with the seemingly
irresolvable political crisis here in Thailand heading for a major collision
with the effects on Asia in general of the worldwide economic meltdown.
Plenty, then, for a newspaper to publish… bad news, it’s said, sells papers.
But, so does good news, and there’s plenty of that, with positive reports
from charities and of amazing experiences such as last week’s Loy Krathong
festival in all its traditional glory.
I’ve been told by many of our readers - and it’s certainly true of my own
experience - that they first encounter the Mail through a Google search,
made in the early stages of plans to emigrate to Chiang Mai, and have found
it very helpful in many ways. Not the least, it would seem, is that our
articles and news stories give a ‘flavour’ of the city and of Thailand
itself. After all, when the familiar in one’s country of origin becomes the
unfamiliar and unacceptable, we have to have a new vision to cling on to.
Admittedly, that new vision tends to shift its focus when we actually
arrive, but, in these rapidly changing times, one has to start somewhere.
As a local newspaper aimed at the English-speaking community, we’ve always
tried to keep in touch with readers’ expectations, and to provide them with
verified information on many aspects of life here. Cultural disparities come
into play here, and often cause difficulties – for example, it would seem
that Thais do not require weeks of advance notice for their events, and
perhaps the word “deadline” occasionally falls on deaf ears. We expats, of
course, like to plan our social lives well in advance, and the CM Mail team
often despairs of ever getting this 100% right on our readers’ behalf.
Keeping abreast of news from immigration, the police and the local authority
has also been a challenge, although a lot less so lately, thanks to Chiang
Mai Friends’ Group and our now not- so- new Lady Mayor, whose cultural and
environmental plans for our chosen city seem to please most of our readers.
All of which leads me to ask, what do readers require of us “on the ground”,
here in Chiang Mai? Apart from the usual requests for advance notification
of varied events in the city, answers to this question have been as
difficult to determine as next week’s stock market movements.
We have a considerable circulation, and we’re proud that the paper seems to
be much appreciated by our readers for its content and presentation. Our
challenge in our 7th year will be to improve our service both to our readers
and our advertisers - a considerable task in these difficult economic times
- and to become the voice of our community here in Chiang Mai, with a focus
on integration with the Thai community, care for the city and its
surroundings’ precious environment, and the giving of verified information
on all subjects.
And, of course, our online presence will, we hope, continue to inform and
encourage people to come to Chiang Mai and create their new life with a
sense of security and belonging.