Australia's ‘Bible of the Bush’ newspaper turns 150

By Mariam Cheik-Hussein | 9 September 2019
The first edition of The Weekly Times

Rural newspaper The Weekly Times, dubbed the Bible of the Bush, is marking its 150th Birthday this week.

The News Corp-owned title has been running continuously since 11 September 1869 in Victoria.

To mark the anniversary a special edition featuring a 20-page wrap and reproduction of the first 1869 edition will be printed, with an explanation behind the original stories.

“This is a 150-year old institution first published the same year as War and Peace with a life spanning three separate centuries,” says editor Ed Gannon.

“It’s now well positioned for new successes having successfully adapted to the digital era by becoming a dependable and trusted digital companion for those who work on the land and who live in regional and rural Australia.”

The paper recently added a 40-page magazine AgJournal to its portfolio and holds a print readership of 126,000 and total reach of 699,000.

The celebration will also be supported by a 30-minute documentary, Memories & Milestones: 150 Years of The Weekly Times, which will premiere on Foxtel’s History Channel on 15 September.

Both News Corp Australia and Nine have been selling off regional and community titles. Nine sold Australia Community Media and News Corp Perth's Community Newspaper Group.

News Corp’s future strategy for regional and rural Australia has been digital-focused, with a slew of new online-only titles such as The Canberra Star and The Newcastle News.

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