Taranaki Daily News masthead

1900-1920


Available issues

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February
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May
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June
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August
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September
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October
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November
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December
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Background

Region Taranaki
Available online 1900-1920
Alternative title(s) Daily News

The Taranaki Daily News began as a weekly publication, the Taranaki News, on 14 May 1857. Its genesis was closely related to provincial politics, with one of the principal persons behind its establishment being Charles Brown, former Superintendent of the Taranaki Province. The News was set up as a rival to the Taranaki Herald, after the Herald successfully supported a rival candidate to Brown. The two newspapers remained strong rivals for over a century, although this did not prevent the News coming to the Herald’s assistance on more than one occasion when its production was affected by fire.

During its early years the News suffered from a lack of funds; paper shortages also hampered production and on two occasions it had to print on dark blue packing paper. Frequent changes in ownership and management also hampered the development of the News and it did not really start to prosper until it was bought by Thomas List in 1905. List was a professional newspaper man, who had built up invaluable experience through his involvement with the Hutt and Petone Chronicle, the short-lived Wellington paper the Sun, and the Waimate Witness. Under List’s management, improvements to printing processes were made and branch offices were set up in Stratford and Hawera. When List took over the News he found that the newspaper was in the perilous position of having fewer than 200 regular paying subscribers. By the time of his death in 1934 circulation had expanded to such an extent that the News claimed it was the fifth largest morning newspaper in the country.

After the Second World War, the News took advantage of improved transport links to extend its circulation into the King Country and came to be regarded as the regional paper, while the Herald was seen as a city and provincial paper.

Ownership of the News and the Herald was merged in 1962 and much of their activity combined. However both papers retained their own editorial departments and competition between the old rivals continued to be keen. Eventually the Herald’s weaker circulation and advertising base, and its less favourable position as an evening paper, meant that it failed to outlast the News.

The News has had various name changes over the years, with the most recent change being in August 2004 when the title changed back from the Daily News to the Taranaki Daily News. At the same time a picture of the region’s most well-known landmark, Mount Taranaki, was added to the masthead.

The Taranaki Daily News became part of the Fairfax group in 2003 and was still published as of 2014, making it the second oldest newspaper in the country after the Wanganui Chronicle.

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