By Edmond Y. Azadian
As readers and friends of the Mirror-Spectator gather this weekto celebrate the 80th anniversary of this publication, it is appropriate to pause for a moment and, with a retrospective flashback, review the achievements of a journey extending over 80 years.
We can perfectly understand the dilemma of the founding fathers of the paper — Prof. Elisha Chrakian, Bedros Norehad and others — who had a solid command of the Armenian language, along with a mastery of English, to launch a weekly in English, reading the tides of the future and bracing the youth for that future.
It was a watershed departure from the past tradition, since the Armenian language media existed for more than 50 years in this country and the community conducted its business in Armenian. The youth were peeling away from the Armenian language and traditions. Therefore, the intellectual elite was at a crossroads; they had to give up the language to retain the spirit. It was not a rupture with the past, it was rather a step to preserve and project that past into the future; in fact, it was a process to have that spirit survive in a new context.
The initiative sounded like a dramatic departure from the past but the impact was not as painful yet because next to the publication of the Mirror in English its twin brother, the Baikar daily, was well and alive and it survived many more years after the emergence of the Mirror in 1932.
In a way, the Mirror was a trendsetter in the Armenian media; later other publications followed through.