Whitehaven News Centenary Book



Prologue

THERE is a sense of achievement on reaching a century. On all manner of occasions it calls for a celebration. It is a subject for congratulation by friends and of justifiable pride to those who have anything to do with it.

Newspapers are no exception, especially provincial newspapers, whose survival, often through many vicissitudes, pays tribute to the faith and fibre of their proprietors. There is a feeling of permanence on these occasions; an enduring place has been carved out in the life of the district which they serve. It endows them with dignity and strength and a great tradition.

The provincial Press was, and still is, often the cradle of those who ultimately serve in key positions in the great and powerful organizations of our National Press.

THE WHITEHAVEN NEWS has made its rightful contribution to contemporary journalism. Arthur W. Wells, a former editor of THE OUTSPAN, a South African magazine known throughout the English speaking world, gained his early training at The Whitehaven News. So also did Eldred R. Reeve, at present deputy editor, THE DAILY MAIL, London; J. Alfred Lewthwaite, night news editor, THE DAILY MAIL, Manchester, and Joseph Taggart, a leader writer and book reviewer on the staff of THE STAR, a London evening newspaper.

These men, self-made and self-reliant, are worth their salt in journalism. They are resourceful and determined men of action, making quick and accurate decisions about the value of news which pours into their departments night and day. It is an exacting life and few can make the grade demanded. It is also a fascinating life, full of colour and changing like a kaleidoscope -- there are no dull moments in the working lives of these quick-thinking newspaper men. It is not surprising to learn that most, if not all, of them would not wish themselves immersed in any other work but that of the Fourth Estate.

There is nothing much wrong with provincial training methods when our boys, as we like to call them, succeed so well in the Street of Adventure. In these higher spheres sound training and great journalistic ability are the only passports to success.

Those who are privileged to see their paper through its 100th birthday may reflect that the great-grandfathers of many of their readers saw no other newspaper in their homes from the first day they could read. They grew up with it, they married and had children, who, in turn, had a like experience. To them, as with their parents and grandparents, their local newspaper is part of them and is read from beginning to end. If they go abroad to live, it follows them over the Seven Seas, reaching out to sons and daughters in exile, a weekly and very welcome letter from home. So the roots of such newspapers, and the Whitehaven News is one of them, go very deep into the soil; they seem to have a firm hold on life, and, with efficient management, they should endure, providing they are permitted to pursue their traditional paths without let or hindrance in this rapidly changing world.

Contents <<    >> Phase I

© Barb Baker