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The early Tasmanian Press, and its struggle for freedom

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posted on 2023-11-22, 09:43 authored by Herbert Heaton
During the first fifty years of the colony, at least forty newspapers made their humble bow to the Tasmanian public. There were weeklies, fortnightlies, monthlies, and quarterlies ; there were sporting papers, teetotal advocates, church newses, and Irish exiles' leaflets. In nine cases out of ten, the subsequent history is tragically similar. Journalistic failures bestrewed the path of Van Diemens Lands progress, and their starved young corpses lay on the roadside, or were gathered up, and decently interred in the vault where the Chief Secretary's records are now stored. Of these transient newspaper enterprises I intend to say no more in this paper. Our chief consideration will be with the more permanent successes, and we shall attempt to trace the line of journalistic succession, thanks to which Tasmania has been well supplied with news from 1816 to the present day.
The colony had not been long in existence before the first news-sheet made its appearance. In the early part of 1810, six years after the foundation of Hobart, the Derwent Star and Van Diemen’s Land Intelligencer was issued. This first effort was doomed to failure. A similar failure was experienced in 1814, when the Van Diemens Land Gazette collapsed after nine fortnightly appearances. Two years more were to elapse before a paper appeared which surmounted all initial difficulties, and established itself permanently. This was the Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter, the first issue of which was made on Saturday, June 1, 1816

History

Publication title

Papers & Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania

Pagination

1-28

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In 1843 the Horticultural and Botanical Society of Van Diemen's Land was founded and became the Royal Society of Van Diemen's Land for Horticulture, Botany, and the Advancement of Science in 1844. In 1855 its name changed to Royal Society of Tasmania for Horticulture, Botany, and the Advancement of Science. In 1911 the name was shortened to Royal Society of Tasmania..

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