Newspaper

Published Day: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
Circulation (Paid): 7300
Cover Price: $1.10 GST Inc.
Address: 81 Commercial Street East, Mt Gambier
Postal Address: Box 309, Mount Gambier SA 5290
Phone Number: (08) 8724 1555
Fax Number: (08) 8724 1551
Email Advertising: admin@tbw.com.au
Email Editorial:  
Website: www.borderwatch.com.au  



Advertising Representative:

FAIRFAX REGIONAL MEDIA








The Border Watch has served the people in the South East of South Australia and Western Districts of Victoria for 140 years. It still remains South Australia’s largest provincial newspaper with a reach of over 25,000 people

The region is known for its diversity of economic activity, and is conveniently situated half way between Adelaide and Melbourne. Agriculture, fishing, forestry, tourism and secondary industries together make important contributions to the local economy and provide a sound base for continued economic growth.


THE HISTORY

The Border Watch has served the people in the South East of South Australia and Western Districts of Victoria for 140 years. It still remains South Australia’s largest provincial newspaper with a reach of over 25,000 people. The region is known for its diversity of economic activity, and is conveniently situated half way between Adelaide and Melbourne. Agriculture, fishing, forestry, tourism and secondary industries together make important contributions to the local economy and provide a sound base for continued economic growth.

They had left Portland by bullock train, carrying a Columbian Press, handset type cases and a will to succeed.

The Laurie family hailed from the Scottish counties of Selkirk, Roxburgh and Northumberland, near the Scottish-English border. Because of the similarities between the Mount Gambier region and their former homeland and the fact it was also near a border they decided to call their newspaper The Border Watch.

A Scottish newspaper near Janet’s home town was called The Border Watchman and this was shortened to provide the name of The Border Watch.

In 1863, John Watson, who also came from Scotland, was working as a school teacher in Naracoorte and was approached by Janet Laurie to become a partner in the paper and its new editor.

For the next 116 years the newspaper had the prefix of Laurie and Watson on its masthead.

After a short time, Janet returned to live at Bridgewater and her elder son, Andrew, and John Watson became owners.

Watson had a colourful and coveted career, serving as editor for 62 years until his death at 91 in 1925.

For a time he held the world record, in the Guinness Book of Records, as the longest-serving newspaper editor. He was also Mount Gambier’s first mayor in 1876 when it became a municipality. He also served a second term in 1900.

In 1925, John R Watson took over as editor, a position he held until 1941, meaning the two members of the Watson family had held the editorship position for 78 years.

Andrew Laurie’s son, Clarrie, took over as editor in 1941 and held that post until Stewart Kieselbach was appointed in 1955. When Clarrie died in 1958 he ended the 97-year association the Laurie family had with The Border Watch.

Reg Watson took over ownership and ran the newspaper until 1977 when he sold it to South East Telecasters, whose major shareholder was Allan Scott. Interestingly the Watson and Laurie families held numerous positions with various organisations in Mount Gambier, including the Chamber of Commerce.

Allan Scott took over as sole owner when he sold the television arm of the company to WIN TV in 1999. Following Allan’s death in 2008 the newspaper is now owned by daughter, Zena Winser, and son, Ray Scott.

The Border Watch has twice been judged South Australia’s newspaper of the year with a circulation of more than 6000 – the first in 2004 and the second in 2010.

As SA’s largest regional newspaper it is the only newspaper to be published four times a week.

For 150 years the newspaper can proudly claim it has remained under local ownership throughout that period.

Throughout its history The Border Watch has regarded itself as the “community watchdog” and has covered every organisation in Mount Gambier at some point during the last 150 years.

Today, under manager Tim Lewis, it remains possibly the fourth oldest business still running under its original name in Mount Gambier. It is understood the Mount Gambier Hotel is the oldest such business (1847), second is the Federal Hotel, formerly the Farmer’s Inn (1856) and third is the South Australian Hotel (1860).