The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Otago & Southland Provincial Districts]
Dunedin Newspaper Press
Dunedin Newspaper Press.
The leading New Zealand newspapers are well edited, and compare favourably with their Australian contemporaries. This is natural, seeing that most of the literary talent of the colony finds expression through the channels of journalism, though in a few individual cases colonial writers of repute have settled in London, where they have obtained good literary positions, and in some instances have written works of unquestioned merit. The first number of the “Otago Journal” was published at Edinburgh, in January, 1848, but the first newspaper established in the young settlement was the “Otago News,” which had four pages, and was sold at sixpence a copy. It started on its short career on the 13th of December, 1848, and bore the following imprint: “Printed and published every alternate Wednesday afternoon, at 3 o'clock, by Mr. H. B. Graham, Rattray street, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand.” With its fourteenth number the “Otago News” commenced a weekly issue, and it was enlarged on the 9th of June, 1849. Despite this enterprise the struggle for existence was brief; it gave up the ghost on the 21st of December, 1850, and its last issue contained a farewell leader written by the editor. A short interregnum was broken by the birth of the “Otago Witness,” on the 8th of February, 1851. This enterprising journal, which is more fully referred to in another article, has maintained an unbroken course to the present day, and is now (1904) the only illustrated weekly published in Otago. On the 26th of December, 1856, the first number of the “Colonist” appeared, but in 1862 it became incorporated with the “Daily Telegraph,” which ceased publication two years later. On the 16th of February, 1861, the “Southland News” (now the “Southland Daily News”) was first published in Invercargill; and on the 9th of March, in that year, the “Southern News and Foveaux Straits Herald” came into existence at the same place. The “Otago Daily Times,” which published its first issue on the 15th of November, 1861, bears the distinction of being the oldest daily newspaper in New Zealand. Its history is interestingly described in another article. In November, 1862, the “Invercargill (Southland) Times” was established; and the Dunedin “Evening Star,” to which full reference is made in another column, dates its existence from June, 1863. About this period the development of the country districts—accelerated by the opening up of the goldfields—became very active. On the 2nd of February, 1864, the “Riverton Times” came into existence, and three days later the “Mount Ida Chronicle and Hamilton Advertiser” was first issued. The “Bruce Herald” started its career on the 15th of April of the same year, and on the 29th of the following October the “Waikouaiti Herald” made its first appearance.
“The Otago Daily Times” has the honour of being the first daily newspaper published in New Zealand. It came into being without much preliminary preparation or discussion, and its advent was directly due to the discovery of gold in the Tuapeka district in April, 1861. Prior to that time Dunedin could hardly claim to be even a town—certainly it was less so before the discovery of gold at Tuapeka than many of the centres of population throughout the province that had to be satisfied with the name of “township” in the stirring times that speedily followed Gabriel Read's discovery of the glittering metal in the lonely gully which has since then borne his name. In another article a short history of the “Daily Times'” predecessor, the “Otago Witness,” is given, and there reference is made to the arrival in the colony from Victoria of Mr. Julius Vogel, a brilliant newspaper writer, and a man whose confidence in himself, convincing arguments, and generally masterful character, induced the proprietor of the “Otago Witness” to embark in what was at that time undoubtedly a bold enterprise—the production of a daily newspaper. The venture was Mr. Cutten's own at first, but in a few weeks Mr. Vogel was taken into partnership, the name of the firm being Cutten and Vogel. Mr. Vogel from the first took the position of editor, and the commercial management of the business was given to Mr. B. L Farjeon, who, like Mr. Vogel, had come to Dunedin from Victoria very shortly after the announcement of the discovery of gold in Otago. Mr. Daniel Campbell, who had been Mr. Cutten's manager for some years, became manager of the practical departments of the office. It may here be noted that during Mr. Farjeon's connection with the management of the “Times” he wrote his first novels. “Shadows on the Snow” and “Grif,” and, being a compositor, frequently took his position at case beside the men who were engaged in setting up the manuscript of the books, and assisted in their production. There are still connected with the “Times” these who recollect the sharp-witted, bustling author, standing at case beside them and rapidly setting the type of portions of his novels without any manuscript to refer to but developing his plots and characters as he went on. With the success of the goldfields, population flowed into Dunedin in thousands. The new arrivals were brought in large steamers and sailing vessels from Melbourne, and the prosaic little village was transformed in a short space of time into a large and prosperous town. The success of the “Otago Daily Times” was assured, and under the shrewd and progressive management of Mr. Farjeon, and the able literary control of Mr. Vogel, it soon attained a large circulation and was filled with advertisements. Mr. Vogel also acted as editor of the “Witness,” which, however, for a time took a somewhat subordinate position, and was practically only a reprint of the “Times.” Mr. Cutten did not retain his interest in the business very long. He was a man of a contented disposition, and the worries incident to morning newspaper proprietorship induced him to part with his share in the concern to Mr. Farjeon. Of a restless and ambitious character, Mr. Vogel soon developed political aspirations; he became an ardent politician, and on the 27th of June. 1863, he entered the Otago Provincial Council as member for Waikouaiti. Meanwhile the private ownership of the paper had merged into that of a public company—the first Otago Daily Times and Witness Company. Many prominent business and professional men of the day held shares, and on the directorate of the company were men of great capacity and shrewdness. Mr. Farjeon retired from the management in December, 1867, and Mr. Campbell was appointed to the position. The paper had its vicissitudes, however, for, like most towns that owed their sudden rise in population and business to rich gold discoveries, Dunedin was subject to periods of depression, and these did not conduce to harmonious relations with the company's editor, who had been devoting more and more of his time to politics. He had become one of the leading spirits in the Provincial Executive, and the directors, believing that the two positions were not compatible, decided on dispensing with Mr. Vogel's services. Their resolve was given effect to in 1868, not, however, without protest from Mr. Vogel. The position was given to Mr. George Burnett Barton, a lawyer and highly educated man, and a resident of Sydney. Mr. Barton's occupancy of the editorial chair was not a success, certain libel actions having resulted—notably a celebrated case which became known as the “Telegram Libel Case, and was the result of some editorial comments made by Mr. Barton on the administration of the Telegraph Department, and caused by the abstraction of a special telegram that was coming to the “Daily Times” from Melbourne by steamer. The case cost the company a very large sum of money. Mr. Barton resigned, and was succeeded in the editorial chair by Mr. W. D. Murison, a sheepfarmer of good education, and the possessor of qualifications for the post. About two years previously Mr. J. G. Fraser had been appointed to the position of manager of the company. Mr. Murison held the position of editor until 1877. A remarkable event in the history of the “Times” took place towards the close of that year. For about four years there had been published in opposition to the “Times” another morning paper of considerable merit—the “Otago Guardian.” Originally started by a public company, it had been vigorously page 229 conducted, and was unquestionably a thorn in the side of its older contemporary. It had however, failed to make much headway, and in 1876 the “Guardian” Company had sold its property to Mr. G. M. Reed, who was subsequently joined by Mr. George Fenwick. The latter had been manager of the company for about a year, and shortly after the purchase of the property by Mr. Reed agreed to enter into partnership with him. Mr. Reed taking the position of editor and Mr. Fenwick that of manager. The capital of the firm was, however, far too limited to compete with a business owned by a powerful company, and the prospects of the property were looking somewhat gloomy when Mr. Fenwick startled his partner one day by suggesting that they should make an effort to buy the “Times, and soon convinced Mr. Reed that he was thoroughly in earnest in his proposal. It would take more space than is available—nor, indeed, is it necessary—to relate how Mr. Fenwick obtained promises of the required capital from his friends, and how absolutely necessary it was to secure the good offices of some prominent citizen as negotiator who would keep the identity of his principals undisclosed. Everything was, however, satisfactorily arranged, and the Hon. W. H. Reynolds undertook the task of endeavouring to induce the directors of the “Daily Times and Witness” Company to sell their property. He brought both patience and skill to bear on what at first seemed very doubtful mission; success crowned his efforts; and Messrs Reed and Fenwick entered into possession of their new property in due course. The “Guardian” was shortly afterwards merged in the “Times,” and then the unexpected happened. Mr. Fenwick made an effort to pick a mechanical staff in fair proportions from the respective staffs of the “Times” and “Guardian,” but the “Times” hands would not accept work under the new proprietors unless they were all engaged. This condition the firm promptly declined to accede to, and the result was that the “Times” hands started an opposition paper—the “Morning Herald”—the price of which was one penny, as against threepence charged for the “Times.” There were many sympathisers with the men, and the former directors of the Times Company and their friends gave the new venture all the help they possibly could. The “Herald” at its cheap price made great headway, and the circulation of the “Times” within a short time suffered materially. Hampered with very serious financial responsibilities, for it had cost something like £30,000 to secure the “Times” property. Mr. Fenwick urged his partner to consent to the floating of a company to take over the property, and this course being agreed upon, the result was the founding of the present Otago Daily Times and Witness Newspapers Company, Limited, the articles of association providing that Mr. Fenwick should become managing director of the company, and Mr. Reed editor of the “Times. The serious falling off in the circulation of the “Times,” which set in shortly after the company took over the property, convinced the Managing Director at a very early stage in the new proprietary's existence that there was only one course open to the directors—the reduction of the price of the “Times” to a penny; but it was a considerable time before his colleagues on the board would agree to this. Finally, however, it became manifest that. if they were to have any hope of stopping the progress of their rival, the course urgently pressed by the Managing Director must be agreed to, and consequently on the 1st of February, 1881, the “Times” came out at one penny. The result completely justified the reduction; the circulation of the “Times” went up very rapidly, that of its rival steadily decreased, and finally the “Morning Herald,” after a hopeless strnggle. changed to an evening paper, and after many vicissitudes and changes of name, ceased publication.
The “Times” has made marked and continuous progress in common with other leading journals in the colony, and its advancing business has necessitated several enlargements of the premises and great additions to its plant. In 1897 Mr. Fenwick made a visit to the United States and England to inquire into the respective merits of the linotype and monotype setting and casting machines, and purchased in England an equipment of the former. The public have derived great benefit from the introduction of this wonderful labour saving machine; larger papers being issued and a considerable proportion of the money saved through the new method of composition being expended in other directions.
In its politics the “Times” is conservative in tone, but it is essentially a paper conducted in the spirit of true Liberalism. The paper has the fullest confidence of the large community it serves in the southern part of the colony. It is conducted with absolute fairness, and with an ever watchful eye to serving the best interests of every deserving section of the community. Its tone is unexceptionable, and its conductors have for many years received frequent and gratifying testimony to the success of their efforts to keep the columns of the paper free from any thing that is objectionable. The “Times' has been for many years a strenuous and consistent advocate of Free Trade; and in dealing with local affairs it has proved itself a trenchant critic and a vigorous advocate of changes and reforms in various directions in social and commercial life.
There have been a number of changes in the editorship of the paper during the fortythree years it has been in existence, but none of the predecessors of the present editor occupied the position for any lengthened period with the exception of Mr. W. D. Murison and Mr. R. E. N. Twopeny, the former of whom sat in the editorial chair from February, 1871, until nearly the close of 1877; while Mr. Twopeny held the position for about eight years, when he resigned. On this vacancy taking place the Board of Management offered the position to their Managing Director, it being their wish that Mr. Fenwick should hold the dual position if he found, after adequate trial, that the responsibilities and work of the two offices were net too great a strain on him. Mr Fenwick has held the joint position to the entire satisfaction of his colleagues on the directorate for a period of nearly fourteen years, thus having held office for a much longer term than any of his predecessors.
Mr. G. Fenwick.
Few Colonial Journals can boast of an uninterrupted career of over fifty years, and, of the two which can lay claim to the honour in New Zealand, the “Otago Witness” is the only one which has continued as a weekly paper during the whole period, the “Lyttelton Times,” which commenced publication a month prior to the “Witness, having been changed to a daily in the middle of the sixties.
The history of the “Otago Witness” is practically identical with that of the provincial district of Otago. Started on the 8th of February, 1851, within three years of the arrival of the first settlers, it has had a career of uninterrupted success, and has steadily progressed with the development of the colony. The intention of the founders of the settlement was that Dunedin should, as nearly as possible, he made a duplicate of Edinburgh, from which it takes its name. With this end in view, the streets were called after those of the parent city, and it was a matter of course that the newspaper should follow suite; hence the “Witness” of Edinburgh, rendered famous by its connection with Hugh Miller, the geologist, was perpetuated in the new settlement by the establishment of the “Otago Witness. The paper was a small sheet of four fourcolumn pages at the start; but with the progress of the settlement it was speedily enlarged to eight pages, and, as evidence of the enterprise of the proprietors, a wood engraver was at one time a member of its staff, a weekly illustration being printed on the first page. Mr. W. H. Cutten, whose sons are members of the well known engineering firm of that name of the present day. was the first editor, the proprietary at that time being a number of business men of the embryo city, who were constituted a committee of management. These, however, ultimately handed the paper over to Mr. Cutten, who, on the outbreak of the goldfields, in 1861, was joined by Mr. Julius Vogel; the establishment of the “Daily Times” being the result of the partnership. with Mr. Vogel as editor and Mr. B. L. Farjeon, commercial manager. The “Witness” was to some extent neglected at this period, the editing being in the hands of the sub-editor of the “Daily Times,” Mr. H. W. Robinson, who retired in 1863 to accept the position of Goldfields Warden and Resident Magistion. Mr. George Bell succeeded Mr. Robinson, and was in turn succeeded by Mr. Robert Wilson, under whose control the “Witness” was rendered independent of the “Daily Times” staff. Mr. Wilson did good work during the time he had control of the paper, but his career was unfortunately terminated by the disastrous fire in Ross's Buildings, Octagon, in September, 1879, of which he was one of the victims. Mr. William Fenwick, who had been engaged in printing the paper and assisting Mr. Wilson in the literary work, was appointed to the position thus rendered vacant, and he has had editorial control of the “Witness,” unterruptedly, up to the present day.
The “Witness” of recent years naturally presents a marked contrast to that of the early days of the settlement. It is now a large weekly of from seventy-six to eightyfour pages, according to requirements; has a neat blue cover, and from eight to twelve pages of capitally executed half tone engravings, besides a weekly cartoon; and possesses an exceptionally strong staff of original contributors. The variety to its contents has made it indispensible to town and country readers alike, and as a consequence its circulation is exceedingly large and continually increasing. It has solicitously furthered the encouragement of native talent, having introduced to the literary world a number of writers of acknowledged ability. It is, in short, a newspaper with an ideal before it—that ideal being a weekly reproduction of interesting news and information generally, and presented in such a manner as to be unexceptionable. Thus it is that the “Witness” is to be found through out the length and breadth of Otago, and largely throughout New Zealand as well. The racing man and the minister of the gospel. the miner and the farmer, the teacher and the pupil, the student of affairs and the seeker after news, the matron and the maid—all read, enjoy, and quote the “Witness.
Mr. William Fenwick , Editor of the “Otago Witness,” has had a life-long connection with newspapers. Though born in England, he was only an infant when his parents left the Old Country for Melbourne in 1852, and as they arrived in Dunedin in 1856, almost all his life has been passed in New Zealand. He was educated at the public schools and at Mr. J. L. Shaw's Grammar School, and commenced his news page 231 paper career by being apprenticed in the “Daily Times” jobbing room in 1864. After a few years' engagement as overseer on a Dunedin daily paper, Mr. Fenwick becamepart proprietor of an evening paper, “The Age.” In 1878 he returned to the “Daily Times” as printer of the “Witness,” and also took part in the literary work of the paper during the then editor's frequent absences on country tours. Mr. Fenwick succeeded to the editorial control of the paper on the death of Mr. Robert Wilson in September, 1879, and thus celebrates this year (1904) his quarter of a century's editorial charge of the “Witness.”
Mr. W. Fenwick.
The Evening Star Company, Limited , carries on business in a commodious brick building in Bond Street, Dunedin, and has one of the best equipped printing offices in New Zealand.
Mr. John Wesley Jago has held the important position of Manager of the “Evening Star” Company, Limited, since 1872, during the full period of its rise and prosperity He was born at Nailsworth, near Stroud, in Gloucestershire, England, in 1830. and removed at an early age to Glasgow, where he was educated. There he entered the office of the “North British Railway and Shipping Journal,” which was published by Mr. George Mills, son of a Lord Provost of Glasgow, and was subsequently connected with the “Glasgow Examiner.” He afterwards entered the service of the Caledonian Railway Company, and eventually that of the firm of William Baird and Co., iron masters, by whom he was employed as cashier at their Lugar ironworks. On returning to Glasgow, he accepted the position of cashier in the firm of Messrs Schrader and Mitchell. leather, bark, and hide factors. From his youth Mr. Jago took an active interest in the Total Abstinence movement, and he was engaged to proceed to New Zealand as lecturer to the Dunedin Total Abstinence Society. Accordingly he arrived at Port Chalmers in 1862, by the ship “Cheviot.” Having fulfilled his mission, he commenced business in Dunedin, and, in 1872, was appointed to his present position. Mr. Jago has always been a moving spirit in the cause of Total Abstinence and Prohibition, and social reforms generally. During the whole period of its existence, from 1873 to 1900, he was editor of the “Temperance Herald.” He also served on the Dunedin school committee in the early days, and, in later years, was a member of the Otago Education Board. Mr. Jago also took a great interest in the Dunedin Athenacum, and was a member of its committee when the present building was erected.
Mr. J. W. Jago.
“The Evening Star,” one of the two daily newspapers published in Dunedin, was founded in June, 1863, by G. A. Henningham and Co., edited by Mr. George Henningham. and printed at the office of Mills. Dick and Co., in Stafford Street. After a time the property passed into the hands of Mr. W. J. Henningham. and was printed by him on premises in Manse Street (previously occupied by Shaw, Harnett and Co.), adjacent to the present Wain's Hotel. Mr. J. A. Torrance was then the manager and the printer; Mr. M. Cohen served as a junior reporter; the late Mr. George Minifie was pressman; and Mr. Gilbert Buchanan (who has been printer to the paper since the back end of the seventies) was Mr. Henningham's first apprentice. Mr. Minifie died some years afterwards, having worked the first machine (a single feeder Wharfdale) employed by the paper, while Mr. Torrance severed his connection many years ago to become chaplain to the asylums, hospital, and gaol—a post that he has worthily held ever since. In June, 1869, Mr. Henningham, whose proprietorship of the “Sun” (a morning paper that was started in opposition to the “Daily Times” and ran a course of about 100 days under the editorship of Mr. Julius Vogel) had landed him in serious monetary difficulties, was obliged to call his creditors together, and eventually his interest in the “Evening Star” was sold by the liquidators to Mr. George Bell (who had also been connected with the editorial staff of the “Daily Times”) who was then publishing in Stafford Street, at the premises of Mills, Dick and Co., a small evening paper called the “Independent.” At that time the “Star” was issued from premises in Stafford Street (now forming part of Ross and Glendining's hat factory) that in the early days of Otago had been the home of the “Colonist,” a morning paper edited by Mr. F. J. Moss, well known in the early politics of Otago, for Mr. T. Lambert, one of Otago's pioneer printers. Mr. Bell's first act on acquiring proprietorship was to remove his plant to Brown's, at the corner of Princes and Stafford Streets, and under that roof was also published the “Telegraph” (a threepenny weekly that had a very brief career), and the “Southern Mercury,” which will ever be associated with the memories of Vincent Pyke and Thomas Bracken, who put some of their best work into its pages. Mr. R. O. Carrick was also mining editor of the “Mercury.” Mr. Bell at once amalgamated the “Independent” with the “Star,” and for a short time issued a morning paper, named the “Morning Star,” which was eventually merged in the “Guardian,” under the editor ship of the late Robert J. Creighton, for whom Mr. George Fenwick was business manager. It was after this period that the real upbuilding of the “Evening Star” began. Mr. Bell bestowed upon it a vast amount of care; he undertook the editing of it himself, and gradually gathered about him a strong staff. The activity thus displayed led to the firm establishment of the paper and gave it the vitality which enabled it in after years to outlast all rivals. Mr. Bell held the reins as editor till 1895, when, having reached a very advanced age, he handed the business over to his family, who converted it into a limited liability concern; Mr. Bell died in February, 1899. The first commercial manager appointed by Mr. Bell was Mr. J. B. Whiteway, who was succeeded in 1872 by Mr. J. W. Jago, who still retains that position. The “Star' has always been a very steady employer in all departments, matters having been so arranged of set purpose by Mr. Bell when he took control, and have been so continued since then by his successors. In witness of this it may be mentioned that seven of the present employees, Mr. M. Cohen (editor), Mr. A. E. Cohen (the principal sub-editor), Mr. J. W. Jago (manager), Mr. G. Buchanan (printer), Mr. Andrew Walker (one of the readers), Mr. T. J. Walker (chief of the reporting staff), and Mr. Joseph Deaker (compositor) have seen over thirty years' continuous service; and several others have been employed from the early seventies. Stability has also marked the “Star's” politics, and it has a reputation for the reliability page 232 of its news. It has been represented in the Press Gallery at Wellington uninterruptedly since 1884 by Mr. Albert E. Cohen, who was chairman of the Gallery for three years, and is its oldest member. The public trust the “Star” so well that it enters nearly every home in Dunedin and suburbs, and it can without boasting claim to be one of the most widely circulated journals in New Zealand.
Mr. Mark Cohen , Editor of the “Evening Star,” was born in London in November, 1849, and at the age of four sailed with his parents for Victoria, Australia. He was educated, first in Melbourne, and afterwards at Ballarat under Mr. John H. Pope, who subsequently was for many years chief inspector of Native Schools for New Zealand. In 1863 Mr. Cohen arrived in Dunedin, where he was apprenticed to the sign writing and painting trade, under the late Mr. Borthwick. Later, however, he entered the service of the legal firm of Messrs Ward and O'Loghlen, and whilst there studied law. In 1865 he joined the employment of the “Otago Daily Times,” and in 1866, entered the service of the late Mr. W. J. Henningham, who was proprietor of the “Evening Star,” and was soon taken on the reporting staff of that journal. In 1869 he joined the “Sun,” then under the editorship of Sir Julius Vogel, and with Mr. Ebenezer Fox as chief of the reporting staff. The “Sun” ceased publication in 1869, and Mr. Cohen returned to the staff of the “Evening Star,” on which he held, successively, the position of chief reporter and subeditor, and was appointed editor in 1893. Mr. Cohen has for many years taken a keen interest in education. In 1884 he was elected a member of the Union Street school committee. He was for many years a member of the executive of the Dunedin and Suburban Schools Conference, of which he was secretary and chairman in succession; was elected to the Education Board of Otago in 1896 and served as chairman in 1898–9; was one of the founders of the Free Kindergarten Association, and assisted to establish the Dunedin Technical Classes Association, on the management of which he served for many years, and was mainly responsible for the acquirement of the Association's present “home.” Mr. Cohen served the ratepayers of Leith Ward for several years on the Dunedin City Council. He has also shown considerable interest in various phases of social life, and has frequently taken the platform to advocate his views. Mr. Cohen was married, in December, 1879, to Miss Sarah Isaacs, eldest daughter of the late Mr. Wolf Isaacs, and has two daughters and one son.
Mr. M. Cohen
The History of the rise and progress of “The Outlook” comprehends a reference to the several papers published in the early days of the Presbyterian Church of New Zealand. Although at the close of its sitting in 1862, the First General Assembly of the Northern Church recommended the establishment of a periodical, nothing was done until 1866, when the Rev. C. Fraser, the pioneer Presbyterian minister in Canterbury, started, on his own responsibility, a small magazine, named “The New Zealand Presbyterian,” published in Christchurch, issued quarterly, and containing about fifty pages. Its name was afterwards changed to “The Canterbury Presbyterian and Record of Church News,” but it had a somewhat chequered existence. On the 1st of January, 1872. “The New Zealand Presbyterian Magazine” was published in Auckland. It was edited by the Rev. R. Sommerville, and, in size and plan, it was the same as its Canterbury contemporary. Its name was changed subsequently to “The Presbyterian Church News,” but it languished for want of funds.
The first publication in connection with the Otago Church was “The Evangelist,” started by Dr. James Copland, M.A., Ph.D., M.D., at Lawrence, in conjunction with Messrs Matthews and Fenwick, the then proprietors of the “Tuapeka Press.” It was a small monthly, printed on a hand press, and stitched on an ordinary sewing machine, and first appeared in January, 1869, In March, 1874. Dr. Copland removed to Dunedin, and “The Evangelist” was then enlarged and published in that city for a further period of five years, chiefly under the pilotage of the Rev. Dr. Stuart. In 1880 the Otago Synod resolved to start a new monthly periodical, which, named “The New Zealand Presbyterian” was edited by Dr. Salmond. until his retirement, when appointed to a chair in the University of Otago in 1886. Dr. Watt afterwards acted as editor for a time. and then the duty devolved upon a committee with Dr. Stuart at the head.
In 1893 the Otago Synod accepted the offer of Messrs Wilkie and Co., of Dunedin, to publish a weekly paper to be known as “The Christian Outlook,” under the editor ship of Dr. Waddell. It was a paper of sixteen pages, price one penny, and it speedily attained a circulation of 5,000 copies. The first number was issued in February, 1894, and the General Assembly of the Northern Church adopted it as its organ. However, in spite of the fact that there was now but the one paper for the whole Presbyterian Church throughout the colony, the circulation slowly receded to about 3,500 copies weekly, and after running for five years, it became so unprofitable that Messrs Wilkie and Co. decided to abandon the venture.
Arrangements were then made with the Otago Daily Times and Witness Company for the publication of a thirty-two page weekly, to be issued at a penny, under its present title “The Outlook: a Christian weekly for the Home.” The company accepted the financial risk attached to the venture; Dr. Waddell still continuing the editorship. In addition to being the official organ of the Presbyterians, the Congregational Union passed a resolution making it their official organ, and the circulation steadily increased. Another advance was made in 1901, when the Methodist Conference decided to cease the publication of their paper “The Advocate.” and take a share in the “Outlook,” which, enlarged to forty pages, henceforth occupied the unique position of being the official organ of the three evangelical bodies—the Presbyterian, the Methodist, and the Congregational Churches of New Zealand, with a circulation of between 8,000 and 9,000 copies weekly in the following July, owing to a breakdown in health, Dr. Waddell vacated the editorial chair, his place being successively filled for brief periods by the Rev. J. Chisholm and Mr. W. Hutchison. Dr. Waddell's health has recently so far improved as to enable him to act as supervising editor of the “Outlook,” with Mr. A. H. Grinling as acting editor in chief, the Rev. T. G. Brooke, as Methodist editor, and the Rev. E. Taylor as Congregational editor.
“The New Zealand Tablet” was founded in 1873 by the late Bishop Moran, with the object, as stated in the first number issued on the 3rd of May of that year, “of supplying good reading matter to the Catholios of New Zealand, and to defend Catholic principles and Catholic interests generally.” Whilst putting religious interests in the first place, the “Tablet” does not neglect or overlook the interests of civil society, and, not being allied to any political party, it has at all times been free to discuss political principles and measures. The paper, which is the only organ of the Catholic body in New Zealand, has a circulation throughout every part of the colony, and its views, as expressed in the editorial columns, are accepted by the general public as the expression of the opinions of the Catholic community, which forms over one-seventh of the population. The late Bishop Moran, who was a brilliant and incisive writer, took a lending part in the editing of the paper for a number of years. The Rev. H. W. Cleary has been editor since January, 1898. The “Tablet” is owned by a limited liability company, consisting of the Bishop, clergy, and laity. It is page 233 a 36-page weekly, and is printed and published at the company's offices in the Octagon, Dunedin.
The “Weekly Budget” (John Smith, Harry A. Reynolds, J.P., and George Davis, proprietors) is a twelve-page weekly newspaper, and was established in 1893. In some respects its genesis was unique, for it was founded by a party of co-operative workmen, who were displaced by the cessation of the “Globe,” which was a daily evening newspaper, devoted (and sacrificed) to the interests of labour. The founders were all young and full of enthusiasm. Therefore they succeeded, and the “Weekly Budget” has now an assured circulation and standing. While favouring Liberalism in politics, it is not a violent partisan, and on occasions criticises the Government with marked freedom. It is not a newspaper in the ordinary sense of the word; but it aims to give its readers a weekly review of things dramatic, sporting, political, and general, and is therefore a welcome guest at thousands of firesides. It is an embodiment of the best features of a colonial penny weekly, and fills a creditable place in New Zealand journalism. The “Weekly Budget” is published on Fridays at Bath Street, Dunedin.
Mr. John Smith , one of the Proprietors of the “Weekly Budget,” was born and educated in Dunedin. He learned the business of printing with Messrs Wilkie and Co., and in 1893, in conjunction with his partners, started the publication of the “Budget” Mr. Smith takes no part in public affairs, as the management of the paper requires all his time and attention.
Mr. George Davis , one of the Proprietors of the “Weekly Budget,” was born in Melbourne, and came to New Zealand as an infant, with his parents. He was educated at Adamson's private school, and learned his trade chiefly in the office of the “Otago Daily Times,” though he subsequently visited many cities in New Zealand, while following his occupation as a compositor. He was one of the founders of the “Budget.” Mr. Davis has as yet taken no part in local politics, but he was a member of the Workers' Political Committee, to which he was nominated by the Otago Typographical Society.