I spent twelve years or so at The Canowindra Star newspaper in the sixties which came out weekly (some would say weakly) and which serviced Canowindra and surrounding villages like Cargo, Eugowra, Goolagong and Cudal.
The Star had a circulation of about 900 which was about 200 more than it should have had. When I took over the lease from the owners, Cowra Guardian, who had bought it from the Uttings with Cyril Heinrich in charge, it was losing money, mainly because it had a managing editor, an accountant, a journalist, a photographer and an office girl and a printer/compositor.
I had it printed by the Cowra Guardian at Cowra and I ran it with just myself as journalist, photographer and advertising and an office girl who did the accounts. With fewer staff, the Star made a lot of money. I had an army of paper boys who flooded the town after school. I would sell them the paper at wholesale rates and they would keep the proceeds and any tips. They made good money.
The paper boys were so keen which is why we had such a big circulation. We would sell the old man a paper at work or down in the pub and sell another paper to the housewife at home. They put the paper into the pubs, the shops and anywhere else they could.
This brought us into conflict with the local newsagent who became annoyed at the paper being so widely available thus affecting his sales. He even threatened to discontinue selling the paper at his shop. I told him the Newsagent’s Association would tell him he would have to sell all papers. I told him we would sell the paper from a nearby toy shop if he carried out his threat. He backed off.
We made some classic “blues” in the paper over the years. The worst was when the type got mixed up and we had a woman “hung in the RSL room” instead of a photo of the Queen. Then we had “FOR SALE: two Kelpie Bitches also Mrs Joan.” Then in the Cowra Guardian, in a wartime story, we announced that the navy was going to “sheet first and ask questions later.”
Then The Star announced a contractor’s commencement of work on the new Cowra Hospital, saying, “Residents will notice his [the contractor’s] big Derrick towering over the site.”
Despite all these blunders, the Star prospered.