DAWN is Pakistan's oldest and most widely read English-language newspaper. One of the country's three 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, Spider, an information technology magazine and Aurora, an advertising, marketing and media magazine.
It was founded by Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah in Delhi, India, on 26 October 1941 as a mouthpiece for the Muslim League. The first issue was printed at Latifi Press on 12 October 1942. The newspaper has offices in Karachi (Sindh), Lahore (Punjab), and the federal capital Islamabad, and representatives abroad. As of 2010, it has a weekday circulation of over 109,000. The CEO of Dawn group is Hameed Haroon, and the current editor of Dawn is Zaffar Abbas. On 24 March 2016, it became the first newspaper to oppose the resumption of the death penalty in Pakistan.
Dawn began as 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".
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 independence of Pakistan in 1947. 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 independence of Pakistan. Altaf Husain, as the journal's editor, galvanised the Muslims of India for independence by his editorials, which earned him ire of the Congress Party and of 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.
On Sundays, the weekend advertiser carries three sections namely "Ad Buzz", "Career" & "Real Estate".
24-hour news channel
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
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.
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."