The first issue of the Wagga Wagga Advertiser was released on the 10 October 1868 for the cost of 6 pence. The paper was co-founded by two wealthy local pastoralists, Auber George Jones and Thomas Darlow, whilst the first editor was Frank Hutchison, an Oxford graduate. These men believed that the growing prosperity and importance of the Wagga Wagga district required greater representation in the press. The paper would aim to give proper importance to the subject of agriculture and to be devoted to people from all socio-economic levels.
Originally the Wagga Wagga Advertiser was only published bi-weekly, on Wednesday and Saturday, and would consist of only 4 pages. By February 1880, the paper was published tri-weekly, on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, due to popular demand. In 1881, the paper was reduced in price from 6 pence to 2 pence, to make it more affordable. The paper finally became 'daily' on 31 December 1910. About the same time the newspapers' offices relocated from Fitzmaurice Street to Trail Street under the guidance of owner Stephen Sullivan, who originally joined the paper in 1868 as a 21 year old printer. When the partnership between Jones and Darlow dissolved in 1871, Sullivan and his father-in-law, J. Mackay, bought the 'Advertiser' in partnership. Sullivan was to continue an association with the paper until shortly before his death in 1933, a total of a little over 60 years!
On the 23 July 1962, the Wagga Wagga Daily Advertiser was reduced in size from a broadsheet to the smaller 'tabloid' size. When the paper celebrated its centenary in October 1968, it was only the fourth provincial daily newspaper in NSW to do so. The paper today has one of the largest circulation areas for a country paper in Australia.
Despite the Wagga Wagga Advertiser being launched in October 1868, it was not the first newspaper to be printed locally in Wagga Wagga. The Wagga Wagga Express & Murrumbidgee District Advertiser preceded the Wagga Wagga Advertiser by ten years. It was first published on the 30 October 1858. (The Daily Express, as it was to become known, folded in 1939, and since then the Wagga Wagga Daily Advertiser has had no real competition from locally-produced newspapers).
Compiled by : Wayne Doubleday.
Sources : The Daily Advertiser, 29 October 1968; 10 October 1928; Swan, Keith J. A History of Wagga Wagga. City of Wagga Wagga, 1970; R. J. E. Gormly Card Indexes on Wagga on microfiche, CSURA.
Photograph : Staff working with printing machinery, c. 1915. (The Progress of Wagga Wagga and District, c. 1925).