SINCE 1868, The Daily Advertiser has reported the news that matters to the people of the Riverina.
Through its printed and electronic pages, this masthead has informed and entertained readers in good times and bad.
Over the years there have been changes in name and ownership, but the commitment of The Daily Advertiser to the community its serves remains the same.
In October, The Daily Advertiser will mark 150 years since the first edition, a four-page broadsheet selling for the princely sum of six pence, rolled off the presses.
It is a significant milestone for any business, but particularly for one operating in such a competitive and rapidly changing sector.
The DA cannot claim to be Wagga’s first newspaper.
That honour belongs to The Wagga Wagga Express, which first published in 1858 – predating The Daily Advertiser, or The Wagga Wagga Advertiser as it was initially called, by a full decade.
But The DA can certainly claim to be Wagga’s most enduring, with many newspapers coming and going over the years.
The Wagga Wagga Advertiser was founded in 1868 by pastoralists Auber George Jones and Thomas Darlow, with Oxford graduate Frank Hutchison as editor.
According to the Charles Sturt University Regional Archives, the paper’s aim was to “give proper importance to the subject of agriculture and to be devoted to people from all socio-economic levels”.
The paper’s first editorial stated: “We have come to the conclusion that a district far removed from the great centres of population, and from the seat of government, but comprising a variety of interests all needing support, encouragement, and an intelligent interpreter of their wishes and their wants requires two things.
“It requires a public journal willing and able to be the organ of all these various interests, and it requires that that journal, while representing all these interests, should also be independent of all. The one end of our existence will be the welfare of the community with whom we have this day so confidently cast our lot.”
While so much has changed in the 150 years since those words were written, they continue to ring true to this day. The Riverina, of course, remains removed from the eastern seaboard’s major population centres where the corridors of power are located.
It is more important than ever that popularity-seeking, poll-driven governments, at both state and federal level, are held to account and that residents have a strong and independent media outlet willing and able advocate on their behalf.
Starting today and continuing through to the 150th anniversary in October, The Daily Advertiser will celebrate the people and events that have shaped our community over the past century and a half.