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Port Pirie advertiser
Title : Port Pirie advertiser Port Pirie advertiser
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Source : Port Pirie advertiser, 19 May 1898, p. 1
Date of creation : 1898
Format : Newspaper
Catalogue record
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Description :

The Port Pirie Advertiser was founded as a free newspaper at a time when Port Pirie, with a population of 6,500, already had two other rival newspapers - the Port Pirie Standard and the Port Pirie Advocate. The publisher of the Advertiser was Robert Osborne, who owned several newspapers in the mid-north. Osborne ran the small newspaper for almost thirty years with his printer, William Hancock, later joined by his brother, Samuel Osborne.

Content The level of reporting in the Advertiser was relatively low-key. There were no controversial editorials apart from brief periods in 1912 and 1922, when Sam Osborne printed a handful of signed articles. When the newspaper expressed a political opinion, it was in support of conservatism and the Liberal Party - unlike the more socialist views expressed by the other Port Pirie newspapers. The First World War saw a natural focus on matters relating to the War and local men at the front. But although the Advertiser supported Conscription in both referendums, the newspaper did not take the jingoistic stance which was common in many other country newspapers during the debate.

In 1913 moving pictures came to Port Pirie and for some years headlines such as "A big 2,000 ft laugh boom" heralded the latest Charlie Chaplin film. It was from this time that the Port Pirie Advertiser developed into a modern style newspaper, using headlines, and reporting a mixture of local, general and world news, with longer articles and less space given to advertising.

An unusual feature in its first years was a mining column by Robinson Banyer, a printer and assayer of Kapunda. Until December 1899, when the newspaper was enlarged to broadsheet size, four pages of syndicated stories and articles were included in a special one penny issue. The newspaper also reflected agricultural interests, with an increasing amount of space being given to articles about farming, particularly in the 1920s.

Interesting Interesting articles include the report of a "beer strike" in 1920 following a sharp rise in the price of a pint of beer from fourpence to sevenpence (24 April 1920, p. 3). "The Hickson Mission" headed an article describing a two day "spiritual healing" arranged by the Church of England in 1923, complete with a list of those "submitted for treatment"(14 July 1923, p. 3). The article "Attack on Greeks" reported the windows of businesses run by Greek Australians being broken due to ill-feeling amongst returned soldiers during the First World War (22 December 1917, p. 3). In 1912 "F.S.D." contributed a "Port Pirie pioneers" column with historical articles about the district.

Geographical The Port Pirie Advertiser at various time published "newsletters" from more than 70 towns and districts around Port Pirie. The most regular reports were from Port Germein (in early issues), Petersburg, Quorn, Georgetown and Balaklava. The latter two places were particularly well covered.

Photographs Issue number 3 (21 April 1898, p. 2) contains a photograph of the Port Pirie Institute by local photographer J.W. Fegan. Biographical articles and obituaries of local noteworthy men, such as the mayors, old residents and the commander of the local cavalry company, often included a photograph. The Walloway train collision was reported with photographs as it was in other local newspapers (23 November 1901 p. 3). The visit of Governor Sir George Le Hunte was reported together with several photographs (15 August 1908, p. 3), and the annual "demonstration" at the Port Pirie School of Mines included photographic coverage (21 February 1914, p. 4), as did the opening of the Anglican Bishop's house at Gladstone (3 November 1923). A special souvenir issue (price sixpence) was published on 24 July 1915 to mark the opening of the Broken Hill Proprietory Company's Iron and Steel Works, with eight pages of photographs.

Sport Homing (pigeon club) notes and local cycling activities were well reported in the Advertiser, as well as football, cricket, lacrosse, rowing, horseracing and rifle-shooting.

Ownership From January 1910, the name of William Hancock appeared with Robert Osborne in the imprint. In its last year, the newspaper was printed at Gladstone by the Areas express and Sam Osborne.

Related names :

Banyer, Benjamin Robinson

Le Hunte, George Ruthven, Sir, 1852-1925

Osborne, Robert Martin

Osborne, Samuel Watts Ivey

Broken Hill Proprietory Company's Iron and Steel Works (Port Pirie, S. Aust.)

Port Pirie advocate (Port Pirie, S. Aust.)

Port Pirie School of Mines

Port Pirie standard (Port Pirie, S. Aust.)

Coverage year : 1898
Place : Port Pirie (S. Aust.)
Region : Mid North
Further reading :

'Port Pirie pioneers by F.S.D.', Port Pirie advertiser, 3 August 1912, p. 4

'Robert M. Osborne: founder of the Times', Times and northern advertiser, 2 October 1931, p. 3



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