A very comprehensive history of 100 years of Queensland Country Press Association is contained in a magnificent publication titled “Purposely Parochial”, researched and written by newspaper historian Rod Kirkpatrick.
Queensland’s first newspaper, the Moreton Bay Courier was published in 1846, and the first country newspapers were published in 1855 at Ipswich, and the Darling Downs and Moreton Bay districts.
“By 1846 the population of North Brisbane was 483, South Brisbane 346 and Ipswich 103. Of these1599 people, 857 could read and write”.
Queensland became a separate colony on December 10, 1859.
The first association of newspapers in Queensland was proposed 1863, and one short-lived group formed in 1887, but it was not until the early 1900’s that two newspaper associations merged to form the lasting Queensland Country Press Association.
In those days publishers were lobbying government for no-cost postage and cheaper telegraph services as well as networking on the mechanical revolution sweeping the industry.
The organisation later formed an advertising co-operative and booking agency, handling advertising from national and metropolitan businesses.
In the 1920”s, there were 101 country publications, and after a decline post WW2, number rose to 105 in 2000.
“Purposely Parochial” highlights the history of many of Queensland’s newspapers and publishing families – it’s a great read.