Port Augusta Dispatch (1884-1885), Port Augusta
The number of settlements covered in the news columns of this newspaper are impressive. It was begun shortly after the incorporation of the town, with the aim of making the opinions of the people of the mid-north known to Adelaide decision-makers. The columns of the Dispatch were packed with the news of the multitude of tiny communities around Port Augusta, while the 'Adelaide letter' provided detailed news from the capital. Local sport in the form of cricket, chess and rifle shooting was reported. Football is not mentioned until the early 1900s. The printer, young David Drysdale, was captain in the volunteer militia and a member of the local rifle club, which ensured coverage of both bodies in the paper. The activities of the port were well represented, including controversial wharf extensions in 1882, the call to build smelters in 1898, and the misbehaviour of visiting sailors as represented in the court reports. For a brief period in 1901 a social column, 'Town gossip by Dolly Pertinax', appeared. The quality of the newspaper fell in the decades before its demise, although when Drysdale re-purchased the Dispatch in 1915, various improvements were made. An interesting double-page coloured lithographic supplement of Port Augusta scenes, prepared by Rider and Mercer of Ballarat, was published with the issue of 28 October 1892.