Neos Kosmos turned 67 years today; the first edition came out on February 13, 1957. It immediately differentiated from existing Greek Australian media, and that ensured the paper’s relevance.

The broadsheet advocated for, and talked to, the large post-war immigrant Greek communities settling in Australia.

The founders

Dimitris Gogos, with the editors, Nondas Pezaros Christos Mourikis and dedicated staff, laid a solid foundation for the newspaper to become what it is today – the leading Greek Australian masthead in the nation.

Mourikis said in 1993: “The publication coincided with when the flow of immigrants from Greece was constantly increasing.

“Neos Kosmos came out on the initiative of Dimitris Gogos and the wholehearted support and backing of numerous people who saw the need for a genuinely progressive and liberal immigrant newspaper.

“Gogos’ co-editor was Nondas Pezaros, and the two bore the burden of publishing and maintaining the newspaper in its first difficult years.

Neos Kosmos made the rights of the immigrant a flag, spoke militantly and courageously in a language that went straight to the heart, mind and problems of the immigrant.”

Pezaros, the paper’s editor-in-chief from the first issue, wrote in the 30th-anniversary edition:

Neos Kosmos had an ear and an eye to the mass of new immigrants, and became one with them; it became a new immigrant itself, and along with the immigrants, we fought for their just demands.

“We opposed the official policy of assimilation, and a multicultural Australia has vindicated us.”

The title was in Gogos’ name and the company was a subsidiary of the Communist Party of Australia (CPA) with several left-wing Greek immigrants as shareholders.

Around the time of the split of the party, after the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, the title passed to Ethnic Publications, with Gogos as the main shareholder, Pezaros as second and Mourikis as third shareholders.

Adapting to change

Neos Kosmos has changed along the Greek Australian community. Greek immigrants and their children have succeeded in business, academia, government, and the arts. Regardless, the progressive and liberal DNA of the masthead remains.

Times are challenging for newspapers, digitisation and social media has impacted globally on heritage media. Advertising and circulation have significantly declined across all media. The community which relied on Greek to communicate has shrunk, many have passed and the those left are older or ageing.

Neos Kosmos has adapted, it is still produced in Greek but has grown in English for the second and third generation of Greek Australians. The paper’s digital transformation has advanced significantly and continues to develop.

Regardless of changes, the paper remains faithful to the values inherited from its founders: objectivity, responsibility, and respect for readers.

Campaigns and issues

Neos Kosmos campaigned against the Colonels’ military Junta from 1967 to 1974 for which it was attacked by Greece’s diplomatic authorities in Australia. Yet, the paper’s resistance against the Junta saw the paper’s circulation soar.

Later, the paper contributed to the visit to Australia of the leader of the Panhellenic socialist party PASOK, Andreas Papandreou, who later became a Greek prime minister – and organised a tour of the composer of the late Mikis Theodorakis – who was in exile with other anti-junta activists in the 1970s.

The paper pioneered the creation of a Chair of Modern Greek at the University of Melbourne and continues campaigning for Greek language learning. Modern Greek was included in the Australian education system as part of the standard curriculum due to the thousands of readers’ signatures collected by Neos Kosmos.

It lobbied for the establishment of multiculturalism as a policy in the 1970s and 1980s. It led campaigns in support for the creation Australian Greek Welfare, now Pronia, from which the aged care institution, Fronditha, emerged.

On the cultural front, Neos Kosmos was part of the creation of Hellenic Week, which became the Antipodes Greek Festival in Lonsdale Street, Melbourne –now Australia’s biggest ethnic festival.

The paper campaigns on issues relevant to Greek Australians now, the second generation Greek Australians, such as their children’s education and support for their ageing parents’ needs.

In contemporary times, the newspaper has been a strong advocate for the Indigenous Voice to Parliament, for marriage equality, refugee rights, and anti-racism programs.

Hellenic Perspective

The English edition of Neos Kosmos was first published in 2010 as a stand-alone paper, using the tagline The Hellenic Perspective.

The English edition provides a Hellenic view on politics, arts, culture, and society. Importantly, Neos Kosmos promotes the activities, events, achievements of the Greek Australian community.

The paper is a platform for Greek voices – experts, advocates, community and business leaders.  Second and third-generation Greek Australian audiences are also very active in Greek community life, and Neos Kosmos tells their stories. Many are involved in community and sporting organisations – taking off where the older generation left.

Audiences shape the narrative and contribute to the masthead’s relevance. Greek Australians see themselves and tell their stories in the paper. Neos Kosmos has been chronicling the community’s evolution, capturing stories of parents’ and grandparents’ migration and now, their passing.

With up to 300,000 unique users online and three weekly print editions the masthead is essential to public interest journalism and continues to represent and fulfil the needs of Greek Australians across generations.

This year, Neos Kosmos will launch a digital subscription strategy and give subscribers unique special reports, and stories.