It is 25 years since one Saturday night the members of our association decided to publish a monthly newspaper with the title MANIOT SOLIDARITY. We started with the desire to find a way for the message of SOLIDARITY to overcome all divisional tendencies, which the Maniots and philo-Maniots were trying to undo. It was not easy, but when the will is strong, all obstacles can be overcome. The difficulties of starting a newspaper were many: none of us knew anything about publishing, and particularly the technical part of this new endeavour was forbidding; we had to face personal and local rivalries and numerous negative reactions from the field of micro-politics. However, we managed to overcome all the adversities that presented themselves by our strong will to create a collaborative dimension and thus contribute to the qualitative and economic development of our region and the improvement of the life of its inhabitants. The fact that this newspaper has reached its readers without interruption every month for all these 25 years is due to the high ideals and lofty goals at the founding of the publication. It was these aims that led us year after year to improve each edition.
The newspaper’s content was crystallised from the beginning. Since human behaviour is, to a large extent, predetermined by the initial genetic characteristics of our ancestors, we agreed that our focus should be the presentation of the Mani of yesterday. It was a difficult argument, given that we would have to resort to historical research and that the findings were mostly scattered and fragmentary. We had to discover these fragments, connect them together and group them. In the name of the high aims of the publication, we shouldered the necessary cost, in time and intensity of effort, to further the original goals. The results of this extensive historical research presented in each monthly issue of MANIOT SOLIDARITY were revisited and homogenised. This is how the two-volume book entitled PAGES FROM THE HISTORY OF MANI was created. The book presents the historical events associated with Mani, from the early years, when it appeared independently on the historical scene, until the outbreak of the Revolution of 1821.
It goes without saying that most of the material is dedicated to the Mani of today and to all Maniots, whether they reside in our area or elsewhere. However, our definition of the concept “news” is different than the one given by most modern newspapers. In our case, we filter out the news that conceals petty political agendas, or news that feeds gossip and contradicts the principle of SOLIDARITY, the overriding aim of this publication.
Since we look forward to the Mani of the future, a Mani that is brighter, open to those who approach it with a friendly attitude, a Mani in continuous economic progress, it is necessary that an important part of our content concerns the development prospects of our region. Since funding for public projects is limited, due to the small political influence resulting from the small number of residents, we attempt to identify and present in a gentle way the shortcomings that lead to reduced efficiency of the projects.
In the 25 years since the beginning of this publication, much has changed in terms of our readership; a significant number of the members of our association are no longer with us, and a new generation of readers has emerged, with a different starting culture. Therefore, we thought it was appropriate to form and display our website, www.maniatiki.gr on the Internet, with a dense content of material. There, in addition to important articles from each issue of the printed publication, many facts, mainly historical-geographical data about our region, but also articles of a timeless nature by prominent Maniots, have been posted on a permanent basis. The high traffic of the website has justified this initiative.
In this retrospective text, which is related to our long publishing effort, it would be remiss if no reference was made to the crucial points of this journey. A strong impetus at the starting point was the voluntary financial contribution of a large number of our members, while in the long course the cost of the publication is limited only to the printing and mailing costs. All the rest (energy, telephone, processing, subscription collection costs, accounting, creation and formatting of the material of each issue) is covered, at no expense to the association, by the main contributors to the publication. However, strong financial shocks have been created by the three increases in postal fees as well as the recent increase in the cost of printing materials (paper and ink). This last obstacle has been overcome by the fact that the main contributors to the publication have taken over the last phase of the layout of the material, i.e., the pagination of the material to be printed.
It would be an omission in this report if we did not note, along with our thanks, the strong contribution to the progress of our publishing effort, of Maniot and philo-Maniot businessmen, who entrusted us with entries promoting their business activities through the columns of our newspaper. In closing, we feel obliged to thank, also on this occasion, all our faithful subscribers who pay their annual subscription fee on time, with many of them paying paying more than the subscription fee.
It is with these pillars of support that we continue our publishing effort, envisioning Mani of the future, as brighter, more cooperative and with increased prosperity for its children.
THE EDITORIAL BOARD