Dawn (newspaper)

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Dawn Newspaper logo.jpg
The 24 January 2008 front page of
Type Daily newspaper
Format Broadsheet
Owner(s) Dawn Group of Newspapers
Publisher Khawaja Kaleem Ahmed
Editor Zaffar Abbas
Founded 1942, Delhi, British India
Political alignment liberal, centrist and progressive[1]Pakistani nationalist
Headquarters Karachi, Pakistan
Official website dawn.com

Dawn is Pakistan's oldest and most widely read English-language newspaper. One of the country's two largest English-language dailies, it is the flagship of the Dawn Group of Newspapers, published by Pakistan Herald Publications, which also owns the Herald, a magazine, the evening paper The Star and Spider, an information technology magazine.[citation needed]

It was founded by Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah in Delhi, India on 26 October 1941 as a mouthpiece for the Muslim League and the first issue was printed at Latifi Press on 12 October 1942.[2] The newspaper has offices in Karachi (Sindh), Lahore (Punjab), and the federal capital Islamabad, as well as representatives abroad.[3] As of 2004, it has a weekday circulation of over 138,000. The CEO of Dawn group is Hameed Haroon, and the current editor of Dawn is Zaffar Abbas.

Early history[edit]

Muhammad Ali Jinnah, founder of the DAWN Newspaper

Dawn was originally a weekly publication, published in New Delhi. Jinnah summed up the paper's purpose when he stated:

"The Dawn will mirror faithfully the views of Hindustan's Muslims and the All Hindustan Muslim League in all its activities: economic, educational and social and more particularly political, throughout the country fearlessly and independently and while its policy will be, no doubt, mainly to advocate and champion the cause of the Muslims and the policy and programme of the All Hindustan Muslim League, it will not neglect the cause and welfare of the peoples of this sub-continent generally".[4]

Dawn became a daily newspaper in October 1942 under the leadership of its first editor, Pothan Joseph who later resigned because of the paper's support for the Partition of India.[5] In 1945 Altaf Husain took over as the publication's editor and brought nationwide and international awareness of its daily circulation. Under the instruction of the owner, Mr. Jinnah, it became the official organ of the Pakistan Muslim League in Delhi, and the sole voice of the Muslims League in the English language, reflecting and espousing the cause of the Partition of India. Altaf Husain, as the journal's editor, galvanised the Muslims of India for partition by his editorials, which earned him ire of the Congress Party as well as Lord Mountbatten, the last Viceroy and Governor General of the British Raj both of whom wanted a united India.

In 1947, senior Dawn staff led by Altaf Husain set off for Karachi to launch a local edition starting 15 August 1947. Yusuf Haroon a close confidant of Mr. Mohammad Ali Jinnah was given the task to facilitate the publication. The offices of the newspaper were housed in the small premises on the commercially busy and a crowded narrow street then known as South Napier Road, in premises belonging to Haroon. He was at that time planning to bring out a newspaper called "The Herald" but agreed to publish DAWN at his facilities, at the bidding of Mr. Jinnah. The street where Dawn was first published is now known as Altaf Husain Road.


In addition, Dawn regularly carries syndicated articles from western newspapers like The Independent, The Guardian, the Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post.

In Pakistan Dawn has in-paper magazines such as Sci-tech World, Young World, "Images", "Books & Authors" etc.

On Sundays, the weekend advertiser carries three sections namely "Ad Buzz", "Career" & "Real Estate".[6]


As a matter of policy, Dawn does not welcome unsolicited Op-Ed contributions. Rejected contributions are never favoured with a rejection slip contrary to the practice with papers like Washington Post et al. dawn disowns even contributions from writers who have been in print for over forty years. O those who had the luck to get their articles published say forty years back. However, their letters to editor space is quite roomy for all and sundry.Contributors to many other Newspapers have fossilised as a coterie, a mafia. Perhaps it is owing to the fact that editors are selected on basis shrouded in mystery. Dawn Regular op-ed contributors include Irfan Husain, Nadeem F. Paracha, Mohammad Hanif Asma Jahangir, Jawed Naqvi, I.A. Rehman, Ayesha Siddiqa, Humair Ishtiaq, Anwar Syed, Cyril Almeida, Kamran Shafi, Huma Yusuf, Kunwar Idris, Kuldip Nayar, Mahir Ali, Dr Tariq Rahman, Amb Tariq Fatemi, Shahid Javed Burki, Dr Riffat Hassan, Zubeida Mustafa, A.G. Noorani, Ahmad Faruqui, Zafar Masud, Late Asghar Ali Engineer, Rafia Zakaria and Shada Islam.

Other op-ed contributors include Pervez Hoodbhoy, Prof Mohammad Waseem, Nasser Yousaf, Faizullah Jan, Beena Sarwar, Bina Shah, Rakesh Mani, Asha'ar Rehman, S.M. Naseem, Dr Ishrat Hussain, Yaqoob Khan Bangash, Nilofar Farrukh, Shahid M. Amin, Anees Jillani, Brig Javed Hussain, Rina Saeed Khan and Mohammad Kamran Jawaid, Dr.Amin Valliani, Jan-e-Alam Khaki, Farhan Jumani, Hajrah Mumtaz and Naziha Syed Ali.

Past contributors include Murtaza Razvi, Late Ardeshir Cowasjee.

24-hour news channel[edit]

After two months of test transmissions, the publishing company behind the newspaper launched Pakistan's first 24-hour English news channel, Dawn News, in July 2007. However, due to financial difficulties, the broadcast language was switched from English to Urdu in May 2010.

Relations with Wikileaks[edit]

On 19 May 2011, Dawn Media Group signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks, for the exclusive first use in Pakistan of all the secret US diplomatic cables related to political and other developments in the country.[7]

An announcement printed in the newspaper and posted on the website read:

The Dawn Media Group and Julian Assange, Chief Executive of Sunshine Press Productions, the publishing arm of WikiLeaks, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the exclusive first use in Pakistan of all the secret US diplomatic cables related to political and other developments in the country.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Durrani, Ammara (2009), "Pride and Proliferation: Pakistan's Nuclear Psyche After A. Q. Khan", South Asian Cultures of the Bomb: Atomic Publics and the State in India and Pakistan (Indiana University Press): 103 
  2. ^ Jinnah, Mahomed Ali (1976). Plain Mr. Jinnah 1. Royal Book co. p. 236. Retrieved 10 October 2012. 
  3. ^ "Our International Business Representatives". Dawn Media Group. 
  4. ^ "Jinnah and the Muslim press". JANG Newspaper Group. 
  5. ^ "Pothan Joseph". Wikipedia. Retrieved 6 March 2013. 
  6. ^ "Advertise DAWN". DAWN.com. Retrieved 28 June 2012. 
  7. ^ a b Announcement, Memorandum of Understanding between Dawn Media Group and Sunshine Press Productions.

External links[edit]