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     Volume 4 Issue 1 | June 25, 2004 | 8th Anniversary Issue


   Inside

   Editor's Note
   Letters
   Voicebox
   Chintito
   Cover Story
   Nothing if Not     Serious
   Slice of Life
   Fiction
   Perspective
   Impressions
   Retrospection
   A Roman Column
   Food for Thought
   Musings
   One Off
   Reflections
   Jokes
   Straight Talk
   Dhaka Diary
   New Flicks
   Write to Mita
   Sci-tech

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Editorís Note

Eight Years
of Star Mag

In celebrating the 8th anniversary of the Star Weekend Magazine we celebrate a publication that has both won the hearts of its readers and earned the respect of its competitors. Over the years the magazine established itself as the pre-eminent weekly family magazine in English.

What perhaps has gained the magazine its current prestige are its cover stories which have focused on issues of human interest, artistic excellence, scientific breakthrough and social needs. Extremely well written, these incisive and in-depth reports gave English language journalism a totally new profile and prestige that it did not have before in the country. In addition to its superb cover stories the magazine also added a wide variety of features and columns that make it a "must read" for all Daily Star subscribers during the weekend.

No other magazine did the type of cover stories that we did, touched on the subjects that we dared to write on and hit as hard against the vested interest crippling our society. We broke new grounds in writing about issues that were long thought to be taboo. We brought to public focus subjects that were hidden under the veneer of social norms and exposed some of the deep-rooted hypocrisies that permeate our social life.

We made our readers laugh with our satirical columns and humorous pieces that also brought home some very important social messages. Star Mag's biggest success is its appeal to readers of all ages. Often readers have complained, much to our satisfaction, that we have added a Friday morning 'fight' in the family activities of the weekend morning insofar as to who would read it first. We thank them for their support and encouragement, which has been our main inspiration throughout these last eight years.

As an editor-publisher I must confess how proud I am of my colleagues in the Star Weekend Magazine. Their relentless pursuit of quality, their commitment to serving the readers better and their personal devotion to making the magazine better make them a wonderful team to work with.

We promise our continued efforts to make the Magazine an even more vibrant weekend read.

Mahfuz Anam
Editor-Publisher


Editorial

As we celebrate our eighth birthday, the one thing that keeps coming to mind are the various stages of metamorphosis that Star Weekend Magazine has gone through. Starting as an experimental weekend supplement that changed from the broadsheet format to its present A-4 size version, SWM has slowly but steadily changed, we believe and hope, for the better.

At first, only the cover was in colour with the inner content in bleak black and white. The paper wasn't that great either -- turning yellow in a matter of days. The layout was not professionally done and often fell into a boring rut. Sounds like a sure recipe for failure in the age of glossy, glitzy magazines that keep popping up now and then. But in spite of all the technical drawbacks, the horrific typos (which unfortunately creep in even today) Star Weekend Magazine began to be taken notice of. This was because it soon became a platform to project the views that are usually not heard, the anomalies of society that keep getting brushed under the carpet.

From the very beginning, SWM was lucky enough to lure some very talented columnists from the main paper -- Chintito, for one has week after week managed to make people laugh out loud while at the same time, think of serious issues that affect our political and social psyche. Neeman Sobhan has continuously regaled her readers not just by recreating the wonders of her long-time country of residence, Italy, but with the sheer poetry of her writing.

While creatively written, in-depth stories and witty personal musings kept many readers loyal to SWM, it was Mita's agony column that kept the younger readers hooked. Mita has for the last eight years advised hundreds of mostly lovelorn young men and women on how to deal with problems related to unrequited or undeclared love. SWM will always acknowledge her sincere and consistent contribution in adding to our readers' interest in this magazine. And our list of regular contributors has increased considerably now, enriching the magazine's content with diverse and provocative views.

The overwhelming costs of publication has, of course, kept the magazine from being physically as attractive as we would like it to be, but thanks to the bold decision of The Daily Star's Editor and Publisher, Mahfuz Anam and the efforts of Managing Editor, Syed Fahim Munaim, as well as the advertising and production department, SWM has now gone for a new, more professional full-colour layout and expanded to forty pages from thirty-two. It is with much pleasure that we announce that after this anniversary issue we will be expanded to forty-eight pages with a brand new look that may be noticeable in this issue.

The underlying innuendo in saying all this is that whatever modest or major success SWM has enjoyed, it has been because it has been continuously blessed with incredible teamwork. We have always had talented writers in our core team. They are young men and women who have brought with them not only their special brand of writing, but also their varied experiences from home and abroad. SWM will always remember with fondness and gratitude its past members who struggled with the growing pains of the magazine's early years and set it on its feet. Which brings us to our present team. They are certainly an eccentric bunch, which has always been an integral part of the unbelievable cohesion that characterises SWM's culture. It is each member's unique talent that makes up the jigsaw. It is each member's love for the magazine, the desire to make it better that has converged into a collective strength.

It is this strength that keeps SWM going, that induces it to improve itself, to self criticise. In spite of all the formidable deadlines, the embarrassing errors and the regular crisis situations, it is all worth it just to be part of the magic of creating something that reaches people and touches their souls no matter how brief the moment. To be able to connect with our readers, to be able to interact and bond with all the remarkable men and women of SWM's team is certainly a privilege that cannot be taken for granted.

Aasha M Amin
Swm Editor

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