First editorial written by the founder

Today we look back on the first-ever editorial written by the founder of the The Fiji Times, GL Griffiths.

In the editorial published on September 4, 1869, Griffiths said the company made no pretensions of greatness and remember that little boats, to be safe, must keep near the shore.

The editorial said The Fiji Times gave no great promises and attempts no meteor-like “leaders” but preferred the more modest as well as noble, plan of saying little and doing much.

“To be honest, we wish for ourselves a large circulation and a long successful career! For our supporters, we contemplate interesting and useful information,” Griffiths wrote.

“The only promise that we make is that we shall watch the times and try to make our paper a public good; a practical, useful and honest medium for the support of honour, truth and right.

“We shall maintain the liberty of the press and the rights to all men.”

Griffiths also said in undertaking this, The Fiji Times was conscious of many difficulties — the smallness of local information; the want of quicker information; the very scattered population; as well as the divided and clashing interests of a small community, made up of men of various nations, with as various opinions, all perhaps contending for the superiority of the one and the right of the other.

“Only let us use moderation and try and learn wisdom from the wise, who teach us that it is possible for others to be right and ourselves wrong; that wisdom will not die with us, and that others may be as wise and good as ourselves; and that the real good of one is the real good of the whole,” he says.

“We must know and be known! Commercially, politically, socially and morally, we must grow and also keep pace with the times, or suffer the penalty of such neglect.

“Many subjects of vital importance need ventilating, and for the lovers of the country, of industry, commerce, morals and humanity, there is a vast field of usefulness,” he says.

He said there was plenty of room for everyone, for their pens, for their purses, for their efforts!

“Let us put our shoulders to the wheel and heave together for the general good.”

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