Published Day: Tuesday and Thursday
Circulation (Paid): 4999
Cover Price: $1.50 GST Inc.
Address: 6-8 Washington St, Port Lincoln SA 5606
Phone Number: (08) 8682 1055
Fax Number: (08) 8682 4417
Email Advertising: firstname.lastname@example.org
Email Editorial: email@example.com
The Port Lincoln Times, a bi-weekly publication is the unchallenged print medium in this market with a household penetration rate of more than 90%. Port Lincoln is the focal point of Eyre Peninsula, a rural region of South Australia that is a leader in primary production and exports.
The region accommodates a diverse industry base encompassing agriculture and farming practices, fishing and aquaculture, tourism and a growing retirement industry. The city is most well known as the home of the largest fishing fleet in Australia, serving the tuna, prawn, abalone, oysters and mussels, with room for expansion into other finfish. Total population: 19,806. Total value or retail turnover: $17 million. Total value or agricultural production: $200 million.
EUROPEANS settled Port Lincoln in 1839, the same year the State’s first country paper – the Port Lincoln Herald and South Australian Commercial Advertiser – was published.
The Herald’s first edition was printed in Adelaide and the second in a hut at Port Lincoln. The paper was short-lived, and in 1840 a co-owner, George Dehane, started a new title, The Adelaide General Advertizer and Port Lincoln Herald, which is believed to have closed in late October, 1840.
In 1904, the first substantial newspaper began when Captain David Drysdale, the proprietor of the Port Augusta Dispatch, formed the West Coast Recorder which was printed with plant and type from Port Augusta.
Maurice Henry Hill, who began the Port Lincoln Times, was an apprentice to Captain Drysdale in Port Augusta. Mr Hill travelled to Port Lincoln with the plant equipment for the Recorder, sailing by ketch.
During the journey, some of the type cases were roughly handled and the type was pied (the letters for printing became a jumbled mess).
The young Maurice Hill, then only 16 years of age, spent a few days at the bar of the Northern Hotel sorting out the type into its correct cases.
Mr Hill, together with J.E. Edwards, took over The Transcontinental at Port Augusta in November, 1914 and in the 1920s bought shares in the Recorder, then owned by Mrs Rebecca McGregor.
On August 5, 1927, with W.K. (Ken) Robertson, Mr Hill founded the Port Lincoln Times, and in 1939 they bought the West Coast Recorder. The Port Lincoln Times’ first premises were situated on Washington Street, near the current site of TAFE.
The original editor of the Port Lincoln Times was Mr Robertson, popularly referred to as Robby.
There have been only 11 editors of the Port Lincoln Times in its 75 year history.
The first was Ken Robertson (1927-1937), Maurice Hill (1937- 1959), Brian Hill (1959-1970), Phil Wynne (1970-1980), Kevin Boyle (1980-1983), Andrew Holman (1983-1986), Gavin Northey (1986-1988), John Dale (1988), Brian Barnett (1988-1997), Jodie Hamilton (1997-2007), and Christopher Coote (2007- ).
War-time paper rationing and a labour shortage caused the Recorder to close in 1942. By 1955, the Port Lincoln Times had well and truly transformed into a family-run business with nine members of the Hill family working on site.
Brian Barnett, former Port Lincoln Times manager and editor, completed an apprenticeship as a machine compositor at the paper, beginning in 1968. He said the early newspapers used handset letters, which meant each individual letter in each word was painstakingly put onto the page.
“The process was automated when Linotypes were introduced,” he said. The Port Lincoln Times used Linotype systems up until 1976, when a Mergenthaler VIP typesetter was introduced.
Today, the Port Lincoln Times uses desktop publishing programs, which allow it to produce full pages complete with advertisements, news stories and photographs. In the halcyon days there were 28 full-time staff working on the paper. Now there are 10 full-time and seven casuals.
In May, 2009, the paper’s production department closed and all advertisement building was shifted to a production hub in Whyalla.
The Times, which was bought by Fairfax Media in 1990, has won numerous Country Press SA Inc. awards. It has covered many major local issues, in particular relating to the substantial farming and fishing industries and several major bushfires in which both property and lives were lost.