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The Warsaw Voice » Comments » October 22, 2008
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From the Editor-in-Chief
October 22, 2008   
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I'm looking through issue No. 1 of The Warsaw Voice, published Oct. 23, 1988. Twenty years is a long time, long enough to pause and take stock of the changes since then.

First, a few figures: a copy of this weekly cost zl.300; one U.S. dollar cost zl.477.74, one West German mark zl.258.24 (Germany hadn't been reunified yet), one British pound cost zl.824.30, one French franc was zl.75.77; the euro didn't even exist yet.

We are beginning our life at a very unusual moment, I wrote in my first From the Editor column. One month after the formation of the government, several days before the Round Table session... the moment of the paper's birth is not mere chance, and that places an obligation on us, I wrote.

The front-page headlines read: "No Time to Lose," "Around the Table," "Parish Priest of the Whole World," "Nagorno Karabakh-The Other Side of the Coin," "Daihatsu Loses Bid," "Penderecki Donning a Mozart Costume."

At the very bottom of the masthead was the mysterious symbol "U-7." It meant nothing to readers. To journalists, publishers and other insiders, it was a stamp from the censors-censorship was still in place then.

We were emerging from that era in disbelief, naively and joyfully. We did not fully understand what was happening and knew precious little about what lay in store. Fresh faces joined our team, a large part of which is still with us today. I would like to thank them all.

Freedom is appreciated above all by those who have experienced the lack of it. They will probably keep returning to the moment they regained their freedom until the end of their days-even when they have understood the scope and the burden of that freedom.

We have come to understand much over the past 20 years and we have learned much. Even more has changed around us. And we still find ourselves confronted with the harsh reality, often feeling we are not yet mature enough to face it with full awareness.

We are the same as 20 years ago and also completely different. In our weekly we follow principles such as accuracy, independence and impartiality that we do our best to defend from their various enemies. We do so in the belief that we are accountable to our readers, who deserve our special gratitude. And that places an obligation on us.
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