Select chronology of significant Australian press events to 2011 Compiled by Rod Kirkpatrick for the Australian Newspaper History Group 1901 - 1919

Year Date Details
1922 11 Sept First issue of Sun News-Pictorial, Melbourne’s first new daily for 31 years; launched by Sydney-based Hugh Denison, publisher of that city’s Sun and modelled on London’s Daily Sketch and Daily Mirror.
1923 4 April Hugh Denison launches Evening Sun, Melbourne; it is coloured pink, is sensational and sets out to pick at little faults in the Herald.
1923 2 July Daily Guardian launched in Sydney after Smith’s Newspapers Ltd (publisher of Smith’s Weekly) was incorporated.
1923 24 July First issue of new Adeliade evening daily, the News.
1924 Jan The Labour News, Sydney, becomes Labor Daily.
1924 Mar Keith Murdoch becomes managing director of the Herald and Weekly Times Ltd.
1924 30 May First issue of the News, evening daily, Hobart; ceased 26 December 1925.
1924 15 Sept Ballarat Courier incorporates its older rival daily, the Ballarat Star.
1924 31 Dec Albury Daily News ceases; incorporated in Border Morning Mail from January 1925.
1925 Sept Warwick Oswald Fairfax joins John Fairfax & Sons.
1925 25 April Denison closes Melbourne Evening Sun (lost between £200,000 and £300,000) and sells Sun News-Pictorial to Herald & Weekly Times.
1925 29 Oct First issue of Morning Star, Melbourne, daily issued by Victorian Farmers Union; sold at one penny a copy, one-third cheaper than the other dailies. Ceased two years later – with circulation that never exceeded 50,000 – when sold for £31,000 to Pictorial Newspapers Pty Ltd, registered publisher of Sun News-Pictorial. The Farmers Union lost 12s in the £.
1926 Sept Murdoch leads Melbourne syndicate to buy Perth West Australian and issues shares to locals to appease concern about interstate control.
1926 3 Sept The Shakespeare family, with Thomas Mitchell Shakespeare at its head, launches the Canberra Times as a weekly (eight months before the “temporary” Parliament House is opened in Canberra); paper’s motto: “To serve the National City and through it the Nation.”
1927 3 May Canberra Times becomes a bi-weekly.
1927   Ailing Morning Star sold to HWT subsidiary.
1928 20 Feb Canberra Times becomes a daily.
1928   Murdoch-led syndicate buys South Australia’s oldest, sickest paper, the Adelaide Register, tarts it up, cuts cover price and pressures long-time owner of successful Adelaide Advertiser, Sir Langdon Bonython, to sell for £1 million; Register closed 1931.
1928 18 July Death of Sir James Oswald Fairfax (1863-1928), Partner John Fairfax & Sons, 1889-1916; director, John Fairfax & Sons Ltd, 1916-28.
1929 29 Sept Sunday Guardian, Sydney, launched.
1929 1 Oct Sun Newspapers Ltd amalgamates with Samuel Bennett Ltd (flagship: Evening News) to form Associated Newspapers Ltd.
1930 27 March Death of G.E. Fairfax, a Fairfax director, 1916-20; Warwick Fairfax appointed managing director of John Fairfax and Sons Ltd. Holds this position, then chairmanship (with two-month break in 1961) for 47 years.
1930   The owners of the Adelaide News need the Herald & Weekly Times to save them during the Depression and Keith Murdoch extracts control of the News as the price.
1930 Jan Associated Newspapers Ltd acquires Daily and Sunday Guardians, Sydney.


Select chronology of significant Australian press events to 2011 Compiled by Rod Kirkpatrick for the Australian Newspaper History Group 1931 - 1940

Year Date Details
1931 20 Feb Final issue of Young Daily Witness, New South Wales; Young Witness continues.
1931 11 March Birth of Rupert Keith Murdoch, only son of Keith Murdoch.
1931 31 March Final issue of Evening News, Sydney
1931 27 Sep Final issue of Sunday Guardian, Sydney; absorbed into Sunday Sun from 4 October.
1933 3 June Keith Murdoch knighted on recommendation of Lyons Government.
1933 10 June Frank Packer launches Australian Women’s Weekly.
1933 28 Aug Merger of Brisbane Courier and Daily Mail to form the Courier-Mail.
1934 12 April Death of Robert Clyde Packer, father of Frank Packer.
1935 1 July Australian Associated Press established.
1936 March Frank Packer buys and rejuvenates Daily Telegraph.
1936 April Melbourne Star closes, again leaving the city with no direct afternoon competitor to the Herald.
1937 30 Sept First issue of Illawarra Star, Port Kembla, NSW; bi-weekly (Mon./Thurs. afternoons). Later became a daily.
1938   Australian Newsprint Mills established by eight major newspaper publishers; biggest interests held by Herald 7 Weekly Times and Fairfax. First paper produced February 1941.
1939 19 Nov First issue of Sunday Telegraph, Sydney.
1940 13 Jan Final issue of Sydney Morning Herald evening edition, for country readers.
1940 13 April Final issue of Evening Star, a Townsville daily.
1940 1 July Wartime newsprint rationing comes into effect.


Select chronology of significant Australian press events to 2011 Compiled by Rod Kirkpatrick for the Australian Newspaper History Group 1941 - 1950

Year Date Details
1941 27 Feb National Security Act passed; controls newspaper production and importation of newsprint.
1941 12 May Daily Mirror established as Sydney afternoon newspaper after several changes of heart on the part of the Government (because of newsprint rationing).
1941 31 July Final issue of Evening News, a Rockhampton daily.
1941 20 Oct Sydney Morning Herald adopts new page size.
1941 26 Oct First issue of Army News, Darwin; weekly; daily after bombing of Darwin, 19 February 1942; ceased 1 January 1946.
1942 Oct Formation of Newsprint Pool.
1942 15 April Sir Keith Murdoch becomes chairman of the Herald & Weekly Times Ltd.
1944   Sydney Morning Herald makes Page 1 its main news page.
1944 April Climax of intense dispute between Chief Censor, Garnet Bonney (backed by Arthur Calwell, Information Minister) and all Sydney newspapers proprietors. Papers defy censor; police stop deliveries, resulting in famous picture of policeman pointing revolver at newspaper delivery truck driver; resulting political compromise leads to defeat for Calwell; sharpens his hatred of press owners.
1944 9-20 Oct Sydney newspaper strike and composite newspaper publication.
1945 April Government grants publishers a 45 per cent increase in the base year consumption of newsprint.
1945 7 Aug Sydney Daily Telegraph publishes special edition about dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.
1945   Prime Minister Curtin dies (July); and World War II ends in Europe (May) and the Pacific (August)
1945 1 Oct First issue of Central Western Daily, Orange, NSW; results from amalgamation of two tri-weeklies, Orange Leader and Western Advocate, Orange.
1946 8 Feb “Town Talk”, the first regular front-page column to appear in an Australian newspaper, makes debut in Sydney Daily Telegraph; David McNicoll was the columnist.
1946 Sept Sydney Sunday papers raise cover price from threepence to fourpence because of newsprint shortage.
1946   Consolidated Press establishes a studio at its offices so its journalists could provide Radio 2UW with a 24-hour news service.
1947 17 Nov Sun, Sydney, changes from broadsheet to tabloid format.
1948 23 Aug Fairfax launches fortnightly Home
1949 23 Jan Fairfax launches Sunday Herald
1949   Sir Keith Murdoch personally controls Adelaide News having convinced the HWT boards to sell its stake to him in return for first option on his holding in Brisbane’s Courier-Mail. British Mirror Group buys Melbourne Argus after failed negotiations in which Prime Minister Chifley had an unofficial hand
1949 3 Oct Lithgow Mercury, NSW, becomes a daily
1949 10 Dec West Australian is last metropolitan daily newspaper to make Page 1 its main news page.
1949 Dec Chifley Labor Government voted out of office; Menzies begins what becomes a 17-year reign as Prime Minister.
1950 9 Jan Wollongong’s Illawarra Mercury becomes a daily.
1950 29 Sept Merger of Home and Woman’s Day magazines to form Woman’s Day and Home.


Updated 25 January 2012