The Adelaide Observer (1843-1904), Adelaide
The Adelaide Observer was established by John Stephens with a country readership in mind. He also aimed for an apolitical newspaper, and this was a stance largely followed throughout the Observer’s long life. In 1845 Stephens purchased the Register, so that the Observer then became a weekly summary of the daily news reports in the Register. Many articles were simply copied from the daily title. By 1852 the Observer was printing two editions - the first an early country edition on Friday, sent to Burra and other distant places, and a second 'town edition' appeared on Saturday morning. As the rail network spread through the 1870s, the delivery of daily city newspapers to the country eroded the need for the country weekly summary. The Observer then changed its focus, becoming more of a week-end leisure newspaper. While still summarising the week's news, it included literature, a 'ladies column', agricultural articles, etc. Many of Adelaide’s earliest women journalists and aspiring writers had their work published in the Observer. This included Catherine Helen Spence, Winifred Scott and Ellen Liston. From 1902 it contained a regular four-page photographic supplement. Earlier supplements had appeared intermittently since September 1895.