Daily rec­ol­lec­tions

Fremantle Gazette - - NEWS - Past Michael Palmer

Daily News

THE days when the streets of the CBD rang out with front page news will be re-lived at a re­union in Ya­gan Square this month.

Perth’s af­ter­noon news­pa­per the Daily News closed on Septem­ber 11, 1990.

For­mer staff have been in­vited to a re­union at the Shoe Bar in Ya­gan Square, on Sun­day, Septem­ber 13, from 2pm to mark the 30th an­niver­sary of its clo­sure.

The Daily News op­er­ated for more than 100 years, with news boys and girls stand­ing on all of Perth’s ma­jor street cor­ners shout­ing out what­ever was on the front page ev­ery af­ter­noon.

It nur­tured some high­pro­file West Aus­tralians: one who went on to be a mem­ber of State Par­lia­ment (Phil Pen­dal), an­other be­came ed­i­tor of the UK Daily Mir­ror (Amanda Platell) and an­other is a prom­i­nent CNN re­porter based in At­lanta, Georgia (Mike


Oth­ers be­came well­known na­tional TV stars, such as John ‘Strop’ Cor­nell and Mike Wille­see. Home-grown stars in­cluded Paul Rigby, whose car­toons dom­i­nated the back page for many years from the 1950s.

The pa­per re­ported the ma­jor news of many eras: the end of World War II, the first Moon land­ing and the as­sas­si­na­tions of John Kennedy and John Len­non.

Other big events cov­ered by the Daily in­cluded the Whit­lam dis­missal, the Amer­ica’s Cup win (‘It’s Ours’), and the hang­ing of drug smug­glers Barlow and Cham­bers in Malaysia.

Arthur Han­lon was act­ing chief sub-ed­i­tor in De­cem­ber 1980, sifting through in­com­ing copy, help­ing to de­cide which were the strong­est sto­ries of the day and al­ready think­ing about the in­side pages of the next day’s is­sue.

“Betty the su­per-re­li­able op­er­a­tor from the telex room rang: ‘John Len­non’s been shot’,” Han­lon said.

“As well as the shock, there was the im­me­di­ate chal­lenge of clear­ing the front page and re­plac­ing it with the tragic news.

“Jour­nal­is­tic pro­fes­sion­al­ism kicks in at a mo­ment like that.

“Ev­ery­one worked to­gether to cre­ate the new front page and bring the story to Perth in a way that ra­dio couldn’t do that af­ter­noon.”

The first edi­tion of the pa­per each day had a 10am dead­line so it could meet air­craft de­par­tures and en­sure sales in re­mote ar­eas.

Dead­lines were tight and when the last is­sue was out around 2.30pm, it was of­ten time for wind­ing down over a beer or two.

Re­union or­gan­is­ers ex­pect about 90 peo­ple to at­tend.

staff with ed­i­tor Ian Hum­mer­ston in the light suit at front.

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