The Adelaide Advertiser celebrated its 150th anniversary in July and changed its old masthead in SeptemberOn July 9 the Advertiser published a magazine 1858-2008: 150 years of The Advertiser. The 24 page-colour publication mainly consisted of excerpts from the Advertiser over the past 150 years.
In his introduction Rupert Murdoch referred to the Advertiser as ‘one of the great enduring mastheads of any civilised city and I am confident it will be around for many years to come’. In an article entitled ‘What about the next 150 years’, Anthony Johnson said: “What the team at The Advertiser has been trying to achieve with AdelaideNow (ed: the website) is for online to complement rather than replace what the newspaper is doing”; and “Within the next decade newspapers will offer readers constantly updated headlines and stories around the clock (with huge savings in newsprint and ink). They will become customised newspapers to go, with a mix of news and features blended on the spot to suit your mood or practical needs for the day...”
In its first issue, the Advertiser declared its policy in a firm statement: ‘The New Papers – The South Australian Advertiser and the South Australian Weekly Chronicle have been called into existence by the universal demand of the public for a new Daily and a new Weekly journal, in harmony with the Spirit of the Age, of independent tone, of constitutional Liberalism, of catholic sentiment, unfettered by party obligations, reflecting honestly the opinions of the majority, and at the same time giving free scope for the exposition of the views and wishes of the minority.
“To harmonise the various industrial interests of the Colony, to prove that, although diverse, they are not opposed, to reconcile free discussion with good feeling, to give to every citizen a medium through which he may utter his opinions, and to uphold, none the less, the policy which the Editor himself conscientiously adopts, will be the undeviating aim of the New Papers.”
On September 13, the Advertiser changed its masthead. When editor Mel Mansell researched the old masthead’s provenance, dating back to the foundation of the paper in 1858, he found that it did not conform to any known typeface, or even to any recognised family of type. He suspects it was actually hand-drawn. The new masthead for the Advertiser was part of an overall design change.
Birth notice for early NSW title
Newspaper indexers, Rod and Wendy Gow, of Cundletown, near Taree, NSW, have found the birth notice for one of the very early NSW provincial newspapers, the Windsor Telegraph. The Gows found the following (slightly paraphrased) statement in the Bathurst Free Press of July 13 1850: “The Windsor Telegraph: That indefatigable pioneer of the press, and ‘Advocate’ of its unrestrained liberty, Mr (Benjamin) Isaacs has, we perceive, planted his standard at Windsor. The first number of his paper, the Windsor Telegraph, has reached our office. With respect to politics, the proprietor assures the inhabitants that the Windsor Telegraph will maintain an independent position, and shall never become the Tool of a Party.
“He is determined to pursue true principles, and as far as possible, endeavour to promote the best interests of the district. He modestly hopes that such a paper as the Windsor Telegraph may, in some degree, contribute to aid the rapid expansion of commerce, education and knowledge. One of the primary objects in starting the Windsor Telegraph is to advocate the free and unfettered circulation of knowledge throughout the medium of the press.” The Windsor Telegraph, my research suggests, was not published for more than a few months.
Competition rages in Nhill
Three newspapers are battling for readers and advertisers in the small Victorian town of Nhill, which was the stronghold of the Nhill Free Press for more than 100 years. The Free Press changed its name a few years ago to the West Wimmera Messenger to better reflect its circulation. The paper is printed at Mount Gambier.
Editor Gary Sherwell, who has run the paper for the past 31 years, now has two other weekly newspapers being published in the town of about 2500 people. Late in 2007, Julie Atkins, a former employee of the Wimmera Messenger, launched a weekly tabloid Nhill Community News, printed at nearby Warracknabeal in the Victorian wheat belt.
The Community News, on its online site, says the circulation is 1200 and the prime circulation area includes Nhill, Kaniva, Dimboola, Netherby, Yanac, Kiata, Horsham, Rainbow and Jeparit.
In July, About Town, made the Nhill market a three-way battle; it is printed at Ballarat. The editor of About Town is believed to be also a former employee of the Messenger. The Community News, formerly a paid title, is the only one of the three papers that is now distributed free. (Nhill, population 1700, is on the Western Highway, halfway between Melbourne and Adelaide).
Media section moves
The Australian has shifted its Media section from Thursdays to Mondays so it can compete head to head with the Australian Financial Review – with its Media section on Mondays and its Property section on Thursdays.
The final Thursday media section appeared on September 18 and the first Monday section appeared on September 22. The newspaper had been publishing a Media Business section in its Monday business pages.
The Media section began on March 25, 1999, as a tabloid liftout and changed to a broadsheet section of the newspaper on February 5, 2004.