The Denial Bay Starter, Australia, 1908

Publication History:

Place of Publication:  Denial Bay Township, Australia (west side of Eyre Peninsula, 500 miles from Adelaide)

Frequency:  “Weekly”

Volume and Issue Data:  November 14, 1908 (first issue) through 1909

Size and Format:  Early editions were three columns. After the New Year, 1909, it went to two columns.

Editor/Publisher: Dr. C.T. Abbott (with Mrs. Abbott, assistant production officer and general press hand”) [Alan Finch, Pens & Ems]

Title Changes and Continuation: None

General Description and Notes:

In his history of Australian journalism, Alan Finch describes The Denial Bay Starter as “produced in a violent mauve ink on a hectograph in atrocious handwriting.” According to Finch, the first editorial, or leading article, explained the anonymous editor’s goals for the publication:

“Dear friends, this obscene sheet is only started with the intention of amusing you and gathering for your perusal any little items of news that may be brought to our notice. We do not wish to enter into the arguments that arise from burning questions of the hour, but will try to plainly set before you both the good and the bad points of any discussion. We should be willing to inscribe any letter or correspondence that the public may forward to us . . . we do not wish to hurt anyone’s feelings but if we inadvertently do so please tell us and we will strive to make atonement in every possible way.”

The editor went on to explain the title of the new paper: “. . . this is a starter and we hope to see in the near future a type printed paper which will bring the West Coast more prominently before the public than it has been hitherto.”

The paper was issued each Saturday, but the editor remained anonymous until shortly after the New Year 1909, when the editor’s name was included at the top of the paper: Dr. C.T. Abbott, a medical doctor and relative newcomer to the area.

Number 20 was produced with the aid of  a typewriter and duplicating stencil.

In the January 29, 1910 edition, the editor announced the paper’s retirement:

“The time has come, when the Starter will retire from the arena, and cease to exist. But we hope that this year old infant, has been able to bring other thought and ideas to your minds, than you had previously, that it had been able to sow on rich ground, a few seeds which in the future will spring up. “

The editor, Dr. Abbott, brought the paper to an end because he moved to a new position at Pine Creek.

Information Sources:

Bibliography:  Alan Finch, Pens & Ems in Australia: Stories of Australian Newspapers (Adelaide, 1965), pp. 12-18.

Locations: Public Library, Adelaide, Australia; National Library, Canberra, Australia