The Award Winning Newspaper – now online.
First Issue Published on paper Jan 2008. From Jan 2010 – 100% Online Publication
The Sylhet Times has won awards and received much praise for its friendly “good news” approach
concentrating on stories of positive achievement by and from the Bengali community relevant
to the local, national and global community.
Published from Oldham, Greater Manchester in the Northwest UK.
We follow in the footsteps of pioneers such as “Somachar” a Bangladeshi paper by Oldham Libraries ethnic minority project in 1993 and the London newspaper Surma which has been published for the Sylheti-speaking Bangaladeshi community since 1978.
While the Sylhet Times was first published at the start of the new-year in January 2008, it’s genesis can be traced back to a visit from the Dhaka Post’s Prof. Omar Faruque at the end of 2006 which prompted much discussion around the idea of a producing a Bangla paper in Oldham.
Some of those involved suggested a picture and lifestyle section concentrating on good-news to broaden its appeal to younger people, also to pull in some interest from the mainstream and so promote the good things going on in the community and area to a wider audience.
At that time the Bangla paper project stalled – but the proposed “Colour Supplement” developed a life of its own, initially titled the “Sylhet Voice”
Then in May 2007 it became the Sylhet Times, registering the web-domain sylhetimes.co.uk while developing the design for a newspaper rather than a feature section – and right after the xmas-new-year break the first 5,000 issues of the Sylhet Times were finally delivered.
The Premiere Issue tried an entirely different look that proved to be a one-off. It was liked but the very varied page styles didn’t really suit the practicalities of newspaper production and we switched to a more traditional layout which ultimately proved equally practical on the web.
Since then others have followed – later that year in the summer of 2008, Jonosheba arrived providing the news in Bangladeshi, effectively fulfilling the original brief. Sometime later Probash Bangla, Spice City and most recently Kagoj came on the scene.
We are proud to have inspired other groups to launch their own publications by demonstrating that “yes we can” and so contribute to the creation of Oldham’s own “MediaCity” in Westwood.
We have all come a long way since that first issue in January 2008.
In 2010 two great years after our first printed edition and 2 1/2 years after the original website was founded we moved the publication on-line in a big way and became SylhetTimesDigital.
The on-line edition has far surpassed the readership of the printed newspaper
In 2011 we had gained 17, 000 followers and 1/4 Million pages were read in each of its first 2 years. In 2012 we saw an increase to over 23,000 followers and a by mid 2013 this had risen to 30,000 with corresponding increase in the number of pages read. Compared with print we have gained a far wider reach with roughly 60% of our readers in the North West UK, 30% London and the rest distributed throughout the UK and world. Being in English this makes us one of the most visible voices promoting our area and community to the rest of the country, the mainstream audience and world at large – which fits perfectly with our original aim back in 2007 – to promote positive stories of achievement in the community and area in an increasingly connected world.
More video and photo features
These and other enhancements are an ongoing development that continue to build our audience and expand our horizons. The future looks great with more video, events and other surprises in the coming year.
The Sylhet Times Digital will be the No.1 portal for up-to-date Sylheti and general interest stories
and images from around the world with a truly unique angle. Special issues will be printed on occasion
but the main game will be right here.
This is the future. Local, National and International News, Reviews, Features and Classifieds,
totally fresh, dynamic, interactive and on-line.