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News
Title : News News
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Source : News, 24 July 1923, p. 1
Date of creation : 1923
Format : Newspaper
Dimensions : 600 x 420 mm
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Description :

A visiting American scholar wrote in 1960:

The News can't wait for Utopia. It is brash and sometimes brassy, but it is as alert and forthright about injustices as any newspaper in Australia.  (W. Sprague Holden, Australia goes to press, p. 10)

The News was founded in 1923 by James Edward Davidson ('J.E.D.'), previously a journalist with newspapers in Perth and Melbourne. In 1920 he purchased the Barrier miner newspaper at Broken Hill and the Port Pirie Recorder. In 1923 Davidson approached the owners of the Advertiser and the Register, with a proposal to purchase the publicity rights of their two long-standing evening newspapers, the Express and the Journal, with the aim of establishing a new title, the News. Davidson died suddenly in London in 1930 while attending the Empire Press Conference. A year later Keith Murdoch joined the board of the News, and in 1949 acquired a major personal share in the business. Following his death in 1952, his young son, Rupert Murdoch, joined the newspaper, becoming publisher and managing director. Rupert Murdoch sold the News to Northern Star Holdings in 1987, and it was subsequently sold to a private firm headed by Roger Holden. At the beginning of 1948 the size of the News was changed from broadsheet to tabloid, due to newsprint restrictions after the Second World War. For many years the newspaper was published six days a week. Its last Saturday issue was on 28 August 1976. The News was the last metropolitan afternoon newspaper in Australia. The last editor in chief Was Tony Baker. The News closed in March 1992.

Davidson paid 10,000 pounds for each newspaper. (Register board minutes 31 July 1923) The News therefore began with a ready market, publishing four editons each day. (But it is only since 1957 that the State Library has collected all editions of South Australian newspapers.) Initially the newspaper had a circulation of 30,000. By 1953 the News could boast a readership of 106,000. In 1951 Rohan Rivett became editor of the News under Keith Murdoch. Rivett was a grandson of Prime Minister Alfred Deakin, and had been a war correspondent during the fall of Singapore, later becoming a prisoner of war. In 1959 he led the News in a crusade calling for a Royal Commission into the death sentence handed to Max Stuart of Ceduna. Stuart, an Aboriginal man, had been committed for a murder to which he pleaded innocent. The News called for further evidence to be examined, and subsequently a Royal Commission commuted Stuart's sentence to life imprisonment. Rivett was replaced as editor of the News by Ron Boland, a former horse-racing writer for the News, and editor of the Mail from 1951 to 1955. Boland returned from Perth to become editor of the News from 1960 to 1968. The much-loved writer Max Fatchen also began his career working at the News with a regular column from 1948 until his move to the Advertiser in 1955.

Subjects
Related names :

Boland, Ron

Davidson, James Edward, d. 1930

Deakin, Alfred, 1856-1919

Fatchen, Max, 1920

Holden, Roger

Murdoch, Keith Arthur, Sir, 1885-1952

Murdoch, Rupert, 1931

Rivett, Rohan

Stuart, Rupert Max

Barrier miner (Broken Hill, NSW)

Express (Adelaide, S. Aust.)

Journal (Adelaide, S. Aust.)

Mail (Adelaide, S. Aust.)

Northern Star Holdings

Recorder (Port Pirie, S. Aust.)

Coverage year : 1923
Place : Adelaide, (S. Aust.)
Further reading :

Bowman, David. 'Last commuted execution', Adelaide review, September 2002, pp. 6-7

Brice, Chris. '71 years later the lights go out', Advertiser, 28 March 1992, p. 6

News Ltd. The inside story of Adelaide's night life, Adelaide, S. Aust.: News Ltd, 1955

Savvas, Adrian. Sixty-nine years of events from the pages of the News, College Park, S. Aust.: A. Savvas, 1992

Turner, Jenny and Maley, Nicole. 'The News - end of an era', Advertiser, 28 March 1992, p. 6

Internet links :
40 refugee boats on way here : Govt. concern Banner from the News 25 November 1977 SA Memory webpage

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