The California Courier, the oldest independent English-language Armenian newspaper in the United States, is 50 years old.
Harut Sassounian is the publisher.
Based out of Los Angeles, California. A weekly, English language newspaper. Contact CCourier@compuserve.com
In 1958, two young men in Fresno -- George Mason (Elmassian) and Reese Cleghorn -- had the foresight to publish an English-language newspaper, so that those unfamiliar with their native tongue could stay in touch with community news.
Cleghorn went on to become Professor and Dean of the School of Journalism at the University of Maryland. Mason continued publishing the Courier with his popular weekly opinion column titled, "This and That" and wrote amusing Armenian wisecracks under the rubric "Uncle Hadji" and "Dear Dickran."
After moving to Los Angeles and becoming a prominent stock broker, Mason employed a succession of part-time editors and stringers. The most colorful personality to run the paper was a Japanese-American by the name of Seico Hanashiro, who worked at the Fresno post office during the day and published the Courier from his garage in his spare time. In the process, Seico knew more about the Armenian community than did most Armenians!
In 1983, Mason hired as full time editor of the Courier a young man by the name of Harut Sassounian, who subsequently became the publisher of the newspaper and moved it from Fresno to Glendale.
An Appeal to Support The California Courier
Commentary: An Appeal to Support The California Courier
By Prof. Z. S. Andrew Demirdjian
I was deeply concerned upon learning that The California Courier is in financial trouble and its future now is in the balance.
As a subscriber, I have enjoyed receiving this newspaper for many years. It has become an icon of the Armenian Diaspora, especially when the publisher writes a very timely and vital column regarding Armenian issues of major concern to us in the Diaspora as well as those in Armenia and Artsakh. It would be a thousand pities to see this wonderful newspaper cease publication due to financial difficulties. We would all lose the energetic and patriotic voice of a consummate journalist and an ardent activist we all have come to love and respect, namely Mr. Harut Sassounian.
As you well know, The California Courier has a long history. It has been in circulation since 1958. Unequivocally, it has become part of the social and cultural fabric of the Diaspora. While we are losing compatriots to assimilation by the hour, we should all do our best to save this vital voice of the Diaspora, which brings us together to read newsworthy topics of interest to us all.
As a subscriber and a supporter, I have made a small donation toward defraying the cost of publishing. I would earnestly encourage you, as my fellow readers, to do likewise. I do realize that the Great Recession is still with us, but any amount coming from you would help.
You can also support the newspaper by making a gift subscription ($59 a year) to your friends and relatives -- a gift that would last year-round -- or by placing your business card as a small ad in The Courier for $25 a week.
As a writer of books and articles on current Armenian subjects, I have benefited immensely from the news and commentaries of The Courier. We just cannot remain on the sidelines while another Armenian torch of sociopolitical activism and enlightenment fades.
So, please do whatever you can to support this icon of the Diaspora. The holidays are upon us. Let us come together to save this valued publication and feel happy and proud that we have all contributed toward the Courier's recovery from its financial woes.
Kindly send your contribution to
The California Courier, c/o Harut Sassounian, P.O. Box 5390, Glendale, CA 91221.
Thank you very much for your kind consideration.
Prof. Z. S. Andrew Demirdjian
California State University Long Beach