If you remember back twenty years or so to the years of the newspapers’ heyday, you’ll vividly, if momentarily remember the days when there was an afternoon newspaper. It was called the “Tele” or the Afternoon Telegraph in Brisbane where I live, and it was released at 12pm, then 2pm, then several other editions should breaking news require it. My dad was a newsagent, so we were always avid consumers of this fantastic and daily news source. Sellers would stand by the side of the street touting at the top of their voice “Paper! Tele!” to the passers by who had no other way to get their news before 6pm on the television in those days.
Yesterday however the afternoon newspaper died forever I think. The latest incarnation of the afternoon newspaper, the MX, a commuter newspaper by News Limited, that was handed out free on bus and train stations to commuters, has ended. The MX was a rather challenged post-internet afternoon paper designed to allow commuters to enjoy something to read on the way home from work (or at least a large plethora of advertising and the occasional rather simple piece to read).
But it’s gone… The last edition was yesterday and as a student and lover of all types of media I want to mourn the older days of the afternoon newspaper which are so significant to how we used to consume news, rather than the new one we lost today.
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So I looked back into the days of the Telegraph. It was published in the afternoons, from Monday to Saturday from 1914 to 1985 when it became unprofitable according to Paper World. In late 1940s the newspaper changed to tabloid format from broadsheet making for easier reading on public transport. Our local afternoon paper was known for exactly what we see other daily media for in the category… “bold headlines, photography, sensational reporting and advertising”, moreso than it’s morning sister, The Courier Mail which was the heavyweight news source. My parents and grandparents had the afternoon paper delivered without fail every afternoon in my youth. In fact, for my early years I would be the paper collector for my grandfather, racing out to get it when we heard the 2pm thump from the paper man lobbing it over the fence onto the path.
My grandfather would be waiting keenly for the afternoon fix of news that came between the morning paper and the evening TV bulletin. As a publisher ourselves, it is amazing to think how the provision of news and media is changing and how the ready availability of news media is killing off all the traditional forms we knew and loved. As a newsagent’s daughter I can’t help but hang my head in sadness but know the changes that are leaving afternoon papers behind make it possible for you to enjoy what we are doing here at Starts at 60, which excites me enormously.
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Do you remember the afternoon newspaper? What was it called in your city and did you have it delivered?
Are you sad to see it gone or think it held on too long in this latest format? Share your thoughts today.