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Aims outlined in very first editorial

The leader column from the first Cornish Guardian, written by Alfred Browning Lyne, outlines his philosophy on informing the readers.
It was reproduced in a supplement to mark the paper’s 100th anniversary.

It is not perhaps without special significance that the birth of the Guardian should synchronise with the dawn of a new and promising era.

The 20th century has started out on its career under auspices which speak for continued progress in every line of life and the optimism which we feel justified to applying to the new century we also apply with equal confidence to the career of the Guardian, whose birth dates with the present number.

We believe the Guardian has come to supply a long-felt, though perhaps seldom expressed, want. That Mid-Cornwall should for so long have been so unsatisfactorily served in respect of the chronicle of its public life, its commercial, its social functions and its everyday occurrences has to many been a matter of considerable surprise.

The county town of Cornwall, surrounded by a large and important district, without a journal it can really call its own, has been a fact which many people have been hardly able to appreciate.

It will be our aim and purpose to remove the cause which has given rise to this. We have fixed ourselves in the centre of the district and hope to make full use of the opportunities thereby afforded for dealing adequately and fairly with the events of public interest, most of which have in times past been but meagrely chronicles in the journals supposed to meet the requirements of the district. The Guardian does not come upon the scene with any very great flourish of trumpets or waving of banners – we prefer to let the paper, as it grows in age, tell its own tale and secure for itself the verdict of its readers.

All we ask is to be judged fairly and, if we give the district something more satisfactory than it has had up to the present, to be loyally supported.

It is, perhaps, unnecessary at the present moment to go into detail as to the policy which we hope to pursue, beyond stating that our first and chief aim will be to chronicle as fully as requirements demand and as fairly as possible the doings of the locality we propose to cover.

Reliable and painstaking correspondents have been appointed in various districts, and through them and occasional voluntary contributors we hope to secure reports of events to which it would be impossible for us to give our personal attention.

As for ourselves, we shall speak for truth and progress; we shall become the hack of no party or sect, endeavouring always to treat all fairly and with due consideration. As occasion requires we shall not shrink from either praising or criticising the conduct of public men, but when we praise we hope we shall not flatter and when we criticise we hope we shall not give offence.

Going out into a district ripe for a weekly journal, the Guardian is bound, we feel sure, to meet with encouraging patronage. The necessity which exists for the support of a weekly paper by the whole community cannot too strongly be emphasised. Not only is it desirable that social events should be fully and faithfully recorded week by week, but the paper is the arena in which questions of strictly local importance ought to be discussed.

It is our intention to try to fulfil in the Guardian all the requirements of a district newspaper; to devote our energies to the reflection of parochial life through the columns of the paper and to preserve an impartial and independent attitude in the treatment of all matters dealt with by us.

Our endeavour will be to make the Guardian both useful and interesting and any suggestion which our readers may make to this end will have our most grateful consideration.

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