“Paper: Tele” – The sad end of the afternoon paper! Forever! 18



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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).  mx stand


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.

1954 telegraph

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.

1980  telegraph


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.

telegraph 1976


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.


Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson is the founder and publisher of Starts at Sixty. The daughter of two baby boomers, she has built the online community for over 60s by listening carefully to the issues and seeking out answers, insights and information for over 60s throughout Australia. Rebecca is an experienced marketer, a trained journalist and has a degree in politics. A mother of 3, she passionately facilitates and leads our over 60s community, bringing the community opinions, needs and interests to the fore and making Starts at Sixty a fun place to be.

  1. I would only consider buying the Sydney Morning Herald or The Guardian and I read both online and the ABC news.

  2. I remember on my way home from work …..””paper Tele city final ,, get your paper “” one on every corner . I’d pick one up to read on the tram home to chermside

  3. The paper standing on the corner in Brisbane, calling “PAPER, TELE, GET YOUR PAPER’ as well as calling out the headline on front page. It got people’s attention. Just one of the good old things like many others that are gone.

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  4. A trip down memory lane for me – I was a young journalist on “The Telegraph” from 1970 to 1974 with a senior staff who had grown up before and during the war. Everybody smoked, everybody got to work by 6am and most went home with fingers, hands and clothes blackened by the typewriter ribbons in our ancient machines which jammed if you typed too quickly. By 10am, we were ready for “lunch” so off to the office watering hole, the Jubilee Hotel (“The Jube”) for a few refreshers. The Chief of Staff was Frank Watkinson usually known as “Watty” He was a diminutive man who lit one cigarette after another and walked at a snail’s pace and was once asked “Watty, what did you do in the war?”. His laconic reply, “I was a Headquarters runner”. I came dangerously close to getting the sack when the Editor, John Wakefield – he with the constantly red face and walking almost at a running pace leaving a trail of cigarette smoke – got the Order of the British Empire. I didn’t know that he was behind me when I let everybody know in a loud voice that the OBE in this case stood for “Other Bastards’ Efforts”. Some great memories, thanks.

  5. I think in Victoria they had The Sun and the Argus in the morning and the Herald in the afternoon. Now it’s The Age and the Herald Sun, both in the morning.

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    • Should I have seen Newsday in country areas? The only other paper I remember was the Truth which my Dad claimed to buy for the racing page. That was weekly I think and we weren’t allowed to read it.

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