Situated approximately 500km from Adelaide in the far west of NSW, Broken Hill boasts a population of 17,269. The principal industries of the town are silver, lead and zinc mines, and due to the town’s facilities and character, tourism now prospers and continues to generate millions of dollars for the Broken Hill community.
THE BARRIER TRUTH has been serving the remote New South Wales mining town of Broken Hill – just across the SA border – for over 120 years.
The paper, which is a member of Country Press SA Inc, is unique in that it is the only Labor Party and trade union movement newspaper in the world.
Owned by the powerful Barrier Industrial Council, the Barrier Truth started as a weekly news sheet on January 8, 1898. Ten years later, on November 2, 1908, it became a daily and its masthead changed to the Barrier Daily Truth. On 28 March 2020 within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Barrier Daily Truth suspended daily publication. Towards the end of 2020 they reverted the masthead back to the Barrier Truth and commenced printing twice a week.
Over its remarkable history it has recorded the highs and lows of the mining industry which has been Broken Hill’s lifeblood.
When it was first published as a weekly, the paper proclaimed itself “the official organ of the Barrier District Assembly of the PLL” (Political Labor League). In July, 1899, it was labelled the “official organ of the Barrier District Assembly of the ALF” (Australian Labor Federation) because most unions were supporting the paper.
At the start of World War I, the Amalgamated Miners’ Association (AMA), which had earlier subsidised Truth, took it over from the Barrier Labor Federation and its local unions, because it was the only organisation that had the funds to sustain the newspaper.
In May, 1962, the Barrier Industrial Council (representing all unions) took the Truth over from the Workers’ Industrial Union of Australia (WIU of A), which was derived from the original AMA.
When the Barrier Industrial Council took control on May 14, it set up the BDT Board of Control as the managing body of the paper on its behalf. Alan Green, an experienced city journalist, was appointed managing editor and in his first edition he made a strong declaration on behalf of the unionists of Broken Hill.
“Every unionist in Broken Hill today becomes a shareholder of the Barrier Daily Truth,” he wrote.
“That is because this issue marks the launching of a carefully-planned enterprise, which the Barrier Industrial Council has undertaken in partnership with the members of its constituent unions.”
Mr Green continued: “In the past, the Barrier Daily Truth has fought the good fight, and has achieved many notable victories for this city and its residents.
“In the future, the Barrier Daily Truth, under community ownership, will become an increasingly powerful bulwark against injustice of any description. The paper will strive always to defend and advance the interests of Broken Hill and of the paper’s owners - you, the chap next door, and the man you meet in the street. “With its enlarged circulation, the Barrier Daily Truth is an exceedingly valuable asset to the businessmen of this city. Its circulation penetration cannot be matched, so, as an advertising medium, it stands supreme.
“The Barrier Daily Truth is truly a paper of the people, produced by the people, for the people.”
The May 14 edition also carried a message from the BDT Board of Control and the Barrier Industrial Council executive. They said they wanted to convey to all affiliated unions “their express desire that the acquisition of BDT as an all-union newspaper will prove a medium for the protection and advancement of the unionists and citizens of Broken Hill.”
The Barrier Industrial Council’s message remains the same today.
Published Day: Wednesday and Saturday
Circulation (Paid): 3000
Cover Price: $2.50 GST Inc.
Address: 179 Blende Street, Broken Hill
Postal Address: PO Box 453, Broken Hill, NSW 2880
Phone Number: (08) 8087 2354
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