The early Tasmanian Press, and its struggle for freedom

Heaton, Herbert 1916 , 'The early Tasmanian Press, and its struggle for freedom' , Papers & Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania , pp. 1-28 .

heaton-tas-pres...pdf | Download (2MB)
Available under University of Tasmania Standard License.


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'
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

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Heaton, Herbert
Keywords: Royal Society of Tasmania, Van Diemens Land, VDL, Hobart Town, natural sciences, proceedings, records, press, freedom
Journal or Publication Title: Papers & Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania
Collections: Royal Society Collection > Papers & Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania
Additional Information:

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.

Item Statistics: View statistics for this item

Actions (login required)

Item Control Page Item Control Page