Dawn is Pakistan’s largest English language newspaper. It is published by Dawn Media Group, a public media company founded by Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Yusuf Haroon. The company is currently owned by the Haroon and Saigol families, the 16th richest and 8th richest families in Pakistan, respectively. They also operate several other newspapers, magazines, TV channels, radio stations and websites.
Dawn began publishing in Delhi, India, a year after the Lahore Resolution of 1940, which had called for the formation of a separate Muslim nation after Britain's exit. An independent Pakistan became the primary goal of the All-India Muslim League but they had no print forum in which to argue their case. Meanwhile, rival Indian National Congress, had the national Sandesh newspaper with its pro-Congress editorials. In October, 1941, AIML leader Muhammad Ali Jinnah launched Dawn to provide a platform for pro-Pakistan voices. Jinnah wanted the paper to champion the Muslim cause and the policies of the league.
Dawn became a daily newspaper in October, 1944, under the leadership of editor Pothan Joseph. But Pothan resigned the same year, partly because he disagreed with Jinnah over the Pakistan Movement. Pothan’s successor, Altaf Hussain, used his editorials to inspire the Muslims of India to push for independence.
In November, 1945, the paper started the “It Shall Never Happen Again” series that went over the Congress Party's shortcomings. Fueled by continuous and hard-hitting editorials, the AIML won a number of seats in the elections, placing a strong second.
In 1947 the British relinquished control of the Indian subcontinent and the nation of Pakistan was formed. Dawn's operations moved to Karachi and remain headquartered there. The paper enjoys a nationwide influence with a readership of more than half a million.
Over the years, Dawn’s editorial columns have won a loyal following, and remain a significant feature of the paper. They include opinions on education, the environment, health, lifestyle, science, technology and sports. The ‘Letters to the Editor’ page is a lively forum in which topics of public interest are discussed and debated. The paper has offices in Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta and the capital city of Islamabad, and supports a network of foreign correspondents. Articles from western newspapers such as The Guardian, The Independent, the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times are often reprinted in its pages.
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Last updated November 28, 2023