Published Day: Tuesday & Thursday
Circulation (Paid): 2948
Cover Price: $1.50 GST Inc.
Address: 110-118 Adelaide Road, Murray Bridge
Postal Address: Box 244, Murray Bridge SA 5253
Phone Number: (08) 8532 8000
Fax Number: (08) 8531 3601
Email Advertising: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Based in Murray Bridge, The Murray Valley Standard services South Australia’s ‘Murraylands’.
The regions position between Adelaide and Melbourne makes it a thoroughfare, providing services and attractions for its many visitors. The fertile plains of the Murray River support successful beef, sheep and dairy industries.
IN 1934, Maurice Parish purchased a one-man print shop, Bridge Printing Office, in Bridge Street, Murray Bridge, and established The Murray Valley Standard. Mr Parish was a former Member for Murray in State Parliament and served as the first Mayor of the Corporation of Murray Bridge. On November 23, 1934, The Murray Valley Standard first hit the street, giving the region its own voice. The paper was printed using a flatbed hand-fed Wharfdale press, which printed four tabloid pages at a time. The first print run of 400 copies was snapped up by readers, and by the end of the first year circulation had risen to 1000.
Mr Parish remained the proprietor until the unexpected sale of the business to the then current editor, Frank Hambidge, in 1950. Mr Hambidge had been the paper’s first editor from 1934 to 1941 before joining the Armed Forces and then the Burnie Advocate in Tasmania.
A cylinder Heidelberg press was purchased and installed in 1955, allowing the capability to print 4000 impressions per hour. By 1965, Mr Hambidge realised the business needed larger premises and relocated the newspaper and press to a property on Seventh Street.
A couple of years later, following 17 years at the helm, Mr Hambidge handed the reins to his son, Michael, in 1967. Frank and Michael both served as president of Country Press SA Inc. and were also made life members for their work.
In 1972, the paper’s popularity and demand grew, leading to The Murray Valley Standard becoming a bi-weekly, printed on a Tuesday and Thursday morning. This lasted only one year because of the threat of a possible shortage of newsprint. The following year, Bridge Printing Office purchased a two-unit Goss Community web offset press that was capable of printing 16 pages at a rate of more than 16,000 copies an hour. About three tonnes of paper was used a week, printing the Standard and two other newspapers. In 1981, The Murray Valley Standard went to a bi-weekly for a second time. As the number of printed publications at Bridge Printing Office increased, the press outgrew the Seventh Street factory, forcing a move to larger premises on Mannum Road in 1984.
Then, in 1988, Mike Hambidge and his wife, Dorothy, sold the business, with The Murray Valley Standard becoming the first regional newspaper in country South Australia, other than the Stock Journal, to be owned by Rural Press Limited. As more newspapers requested the printing services of Bridge Printing Office, additional web offset units were added to the original press until the company ran out of room again. After much planning, the current Adelaide Road site was opened in 2006 and now, under manager Trevor Channon, who is also president of Country Press SA Inc., prints 90 different mastheads including the Australian Financial Review, five bi-weekly papers, 21 weekly papers and a range of fortnightly and monthly publications.
The site is now highly regarded in the print industry for its size, technology and capabilities. In 2006, The Murray Valley Standard also became the first newspaper in the State to print full colour on every page.
The Murray Valley Standard has won numerous Country Press SA Inc. awards, including the best newspaper (circulation 2500-6000) seven times since 2004.
Over the years The Murray Valley Standard may have undergone literary and cosmetic changes, but in no way has it changed its obligation to the community.
It has survived because of the strength of the people and districts it serves.