The Clutha Leader was first published, weekly, in 1874 and was the first newspaper in Balcutha to be established that has lasted over time.
While other newspapers were published in Balclutha, the only serious competition came from the Free Press (1891-1926). The Free Press supported the Liberal Party of Ballance, Seddon and Ward while the Clutha Leader backed Massey's conservative Reform Party.
The Leader eventually proved too strong for its rival and absorbed the Free Press in 1927. Very few issues of the Free Press have survived while the Leader is still published.
The National Library recently microfilmed the Clutha Leader from 1874 to 1975.