Original Incorporation Document.
The 11th of June marks the anniversary of the publication of the very first issue of Vaba Eesti Sõna. We proudly print today’s issue as number 3386 in an uninterrupted sequence of weekly Estonian-language newspapers, published in New York and serving readers across all of North America, as well as some in Estonia and other parts of the world.
The Nordic Press was officially incorporated as a shareholder corporation in January 1949, and held its first shareholder meeting in March of 1949. Most of the funding came from the “old Estonians”, Estonians who had been in the United States long enough to be on a good financial footing. Mr. A. Waldman was a leader and moving force in the new enterprise, acting also as managing editor.
The first editor-in-chief was Evald Roosare. After that this demanding work was done by a short list of: Erich Ernits, Harald Raudsepp, Talvi Laev, Aire Salmre, Airi Vaga and our present much-appreciated Kärt Ulman.
The new publication was edited and typeset at various downtown addresses and printed at a new printing house established by Mr. H. Kuuse. Our new enterprise kept pace with the rapidly changing technology of the following decades and in 1985 was edited on a computer. Today it is created on a computer in Estonian House and printed and mailed from Long Island.
For many years the newspaper thrived and subscriptions at one point reached 5000. However, the demographics of New York and the Estonian community gradually changed and today readership is less than 1000. In the prosperous years TNP made a profit and and had funds in reserve. As readership fell off, we had to gradually start making up the shortfall from these reserves. In the early 2000s it became obvious that the “wolf was getting close to the door” and we began a series of fundraising efforts. Thanks to these and thanks to generous support from the Estonian American National Council and others, we survive but with expenses cut to the bone and all the work done by a very small but hard-working and friendly staff. We hope that Vaba Eesti Sõna will continue to appear in your mailboxes for several years yet, keeping you informed of world news, Estonian events, and doings at Estonian communities everywhere.
Leave a Reply