Dawn (newspaper)

Dawn is Pakistan's oldest, leading and most widely read English-language newspaper and is the country's newspaper of record.[3] It is one of the country's three largest English-language dailies and the flagship of the Dawn Group of Newspapers. Dawn is published by Pakistan Herald Publications, which also owns the magazine Herald, the information technology magazine Spider, and the advertising marketing and media magazine Aurora.

The 1 January 2015 front page of
TypeDaily newspaper
Owner(s)Dawn Media Group
Founder(s)Muhammad Ali Jinnah[1]
EditorZaffar Abbas
Founded26 October 1941
Political alignmentliberal, centrist and progressive[2]
HeadquartersKarachi, Pakistan

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.[4] The newspaper has offices in Karachi (Sindh), Lahore (Punjab), and the federal capital Islamabad, and representatives abroad.[5] As of 2010, it has a weekday circulation of over 109,000.[6] The CEO of Dawn group is Hameed Haroon, and the current Zaffar Abbas. On 24 March 2016, it became the first newspaper to oppose the resumption of the death penalty in Pakistan.[7]

Pre-Independence history

Dawn began as a weekly publication, published in New Delhi in 1941.[1] Under the instruction of Jinnah, it became the official organ of the All India 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. 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".[8]

Dawn became a daily newspaper in October 1944 under the leadership of its editor, Pothan Joseph, who later resigned in 1944 to take up the position of the government's Principal Information Officer in part because of differences with Jinnah over the Pakistan Movement. He was succeeded by Altaf Husain who as the journal's editor, galvanised the Muslims of India for independence by his editorials, which earned him the 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.


Dawn regularly carries syndicated articles from western newspapers like The Independent, The Guardian, the Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post.

On Sundays, the weekend advertiser carries three sections namely "Ad Buzz", "Career", and "Real Estate".[9]

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.[10]

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.[10]

Leak controversy

A Dawn staffer's story, "Act against militants or face international isolation, civilians tell military", became a big scandal due to which Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid resigned from his post, following a preliminary investigation established a 'lapse' on his part vis-à-vis the publication of the 'planted' story.[11]

See also


  1. Long, Roger D. (27 August 2017). "Dawn Delhi I: Genesis of a Newspaper". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 27 August 2017.
  2. Durrani, Ammara (2009), "Pride and Proliferation: Pakistan's Nuclear Psyche After A. Q. Khan", South Asian Cultures of the Bomb: Atomic Publics and the State in India and Pakistan, Indiana University Press, p. 103
  3. "Dawn joins Asia News Network". The Daily Star. 29 November 2011. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
  4. Jinnah, Mahomed Ali (1976). Plain Mr. Jinnah. 1. Royal Book Company (on GoogleBooks website). p. 236. Retrieved 29 July 2017.
  5. "Our International Business Representatives". Dawn Media Group. Archived from the original on 30 June 2006. Retrieved 29 July 2017.
  6. "The Inside Pages: An Analysis of the Pakistani Press" (PDF). Center for Strategic and International Studies. Retrieved 29 July 2017.
  7. Editorial (24 March 2016). "Death penalty". www.dawn.com. Retrieved 24 March 2016.
  8. Aqeel-uz-zafar Khan. "Jinnah and the Muslim press". JANG Newspaper Group. Archived from the original on 10 January 2009. Retrieved 29 July 2017.
  9. "Advertise DAWN". DAWN.com. Retrieved 29 July 2017.
  10. Announcement, Memorandum of Understanding between Dawn Media Group and Sunshine Press Productions, Dawn (newspaper), Published 19 May 2011, Retrieved 29 July 2017
  11. "Govt forms inquiry committee to probe 'Dawn leaks'". The Express Tribune. 7 November 2016. Retrieved 29 July 2017.
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