|Founded||25 May 1861|
|Headquarters||Christchurch, New Zealand|
The Press is a daily newspaper published in Christchurch, New Zealand owned by media business Stuff Ltd. First published in 1861, the newspaper is the largest circulating daily in the South Island and publishes Monday to Saturday. One community newspaper—Northern Outlook- is also published by The Press and is free.
The newspaper has won the title of New Zealand Newspaper of the Year (in its circulation category) three times: in 2006, 2007 and 2012. It has also won the overall Newspaper of the Year title twice: in 2006 and 2007.
James FitzGerald came to Lyttelton on the Charlotte Jane in December 1850, and was from January 1851 the first editor of the Lyttelton Times , Canterbury's first newspaper.From 1853, he focussed on politics and withdrew from the Lyttelton Times. After several years in England, he returned to Canterbury concerned about the proposed capital works programme of the provincial government, with his chief concern the proposed rail tunnel connecting Christchurch and Lyttelton, which he thought of as fiscally irresponsible, but supported by his old newspaper, the Lyttelton Times. The newspaper's editor, Crosbie Ward, made an imputation of unknown content, and this spurred FitzGerald to set up The Press as a rival newspaper.
FitzGerald had dinner with John Watts-Russell, who put up £500 on the condition that FitzGerald would be in charge of the new newspaper. Next, he enlisted the support of the Rev. John Raven, who organised many of the practical aspects, like organising a printer and a printing press. Other members of the early committee that organised The Press were Henry Porcher Lance (brother of James Dupré Lance),Henry Tancred, and Richard J. S. Harman; all of them were colonial gentry.
The Press was first published on 25 May 1861 from a small cottage, making it the oldest surviving newspaper in the South Island of New Zealand. The cottage belonged to Raven on land known as Raven's paddock on the west side of Montreal Street, between Worcester and Gloucester Streets, opposite the present-day Christchurch Art Gallery.The first edition was a six-page tabloid and was sold for sixpence. The paper continued as a weekly. The public saw FitzGerald as the proprietor of The Press, but the newspaper saw reason to publicly state that "it is not a fact that Mr FitzGerald has either pecuniary or official connexion" with it; he was however the driving force behind the paper.
On 13 June 1863, the first part of Samuel Butler's Erewhon appeared in The Press in an article signed with the pseudonym Cellarius (q.v.) and headed "Darwin among the Machines."
In 1905, The Press purchased a block of the Cathedral Square site for £4,000. The Board then purchased the right of way (Press Lane) and what was going to be the original Theatre Royal site from the Theatre Royal Syndicate for £5000. The Gothic part of the Press building (occupied by the company until 22 February 2011) was built starting in 1907 and the Press staff shifted into it in February 1909 from their Cashel Street premises.
In the 1930s, The Press began to seek solutions to the slow delivery times of the newspaper to the West Coast. Roads at the time were difficult, and the New Zealand Railways Department was unwilling to reschedule any of its ordinary passenger trains to operate at the early morning times desired by The Press as patronage would have been uneconomic, and freight trains did not provide a desirable measure of swiftness. Accordingly, The Press was willing to subsidise the construction and operation of two small Leyland diesel railbuses to carry the newspapers by rail at a desirable time. These little railbuses began service on 3 August 1936 and left Christchurch at 2:20 am, travelling down the Midland Line to reach Greymouth at 6:40 am and then continue along the Ross Branch as far as Hokitika, arriving just before 8:00 am. This provided substantially quicker delivery of the newspaper than was previously possible. However, these railbuses were intended to only be a temporary measure and they were replaced by the much larger Vulcan railcars as soon as they arrived in New Zealand in the early 1940s.
In 1995, The Press was the country's first news outlet that established a website for news. In 2000, Independent Newspapers Ltd (INL) launched its news website branded as Stuff and from then on, The Press and Stuff worked on online content collaboratively.
In February 2011, The Press main building in central Christchurch was badly damaged in the 2011 Christchurch earthquake. All production was operated from their printing plant near Christchurch Airport until June 2012, when the central Christchurch building was partially rebuilt and upgraded. It was one of the first buildings in the Christchurch CBD to be rebuilt and operational.
The paper format for the weekday editions changed from broadsheet to compact in 2018, with only the Saturday edition retaining the larger format.
The motto on the masthead – "Nihil utile quod non-honestum" translates to "Nothing is useful that is not honest." Like The Age in Australia, the newspaper's masthead features the Royal Arms.
The early ownership, beyond the newspaper having been financed by Watts-Russell, is unclear. In February 1862, an attempt was made to form a company and formalise the ownership of the paper. A deed of association for "The Proprietors of The Press" was drafted, and it lists the five members of the previous committee (Watts-Russell, Raven, Lance, Tancred, and Harman), plus five new members: Alfred Richard Creyke, John Hall, Joseph Brittan, Isaac Cookson, and James Somerville Turnbull.Surprisingly, the deed was not executed, but four-month later, FitzGerald, who had no funds, was the sole owner "through the liberality of the proprietors", as he called it later. FitzGerald lost control of the newspaper ownership in 1868 and the Press Company was incorporated as the owner. That company was dissolved in 1890 and George Stead bought the assets. Stead established the Christchurch Press Company and became its chairman.
The Christchurch Press Company was sold to Independent Newspapers Ltd in 1987, and INL in turn was bought by Fairfax New Zealand in 2003.The Australian parent company, Fairfax Media, merged with Nine Entertainment Co. in December 2018.
The following have been editors of The Press:
|Name||Portrait||Term of office|
|John Steele Guthrie||1878||1894|
|Michael Cormac Keane||1894||1919|
|William Henry Triggs||1919||1929|
|Pierce Hugo Napier Freeth||1932||1957|
|Arthur Rolleston Cant||1957||1973|
|2019||Voyager Media Awards||Newspaper of the Year (more than 30,000 circulation)||Runner-up|
|2018||Voyager Media Awards||Best coverage of a major news event||Runner-up|
|2017||Voyager Media Awards||Best newspaper-inserted magazine||Joint winner|
|Best coverage of a major news event||Joint winner|
|2013||Voyager Media Awards||Best Innovation in Multimedia Storytelling||Winner|
|Best Digital Community Interaction||Winner|
|2012||Voyager Media Awards||Newspaper of the Year (over 30,000 circulation)||Winner|
|Best Newspaper Design||Winner|
|2011||Canon Media Awards||Best Design||Winner|
|Pacific Area Newspaper Publishers' Association:||Newspaper of the Year (circulation between 25,000 and 90,000)||Winner|
|2007||Qantas Media Print Awards||Newspaper of the Year||Winner|
|Daily Newspaper over 25,000 circulation||Winner|
|Newspaper Specialist Page or Section: Arts Section||Winner|
|Newspaper Specialist Page or Section: Food & Nutrition Section||Winner|
|2006||Qantas Media Print Awards||Best New Zealand Newspaper||Winner|
|Best Newspaper with a circulation over 25,000||Winner|
|Best Newspaper Investigation||Winner|
|Newspaper Specialist Page or Section: Food & Nutrition Section||Winner|
|Newspaper Specialist Page or Section: Motoring Section||Winner|
|Newspaper Specialist Page or Section: Other Section: How the Press Works||Winner|
|2019||Voyager Media Awards||Regional Journalist of the Year||Hamish McNeilly||Winner|
|2018||Voyager Media Awards||Cartoonist of the Year||Sharon Murdoch||Winner|
|Best photography – news||Joseph Johnson||Winner|
|Best photography – portrait||Chris Skelton||Winner|
|Best news video||George Heard||Winner|
|Best feature/photographic essay||Joseph Johnson||Runner-up|
|Reporter – crime, justice and/or social issues||Martin van Beynen||Runner-up|
|2017||Voyager Media Awards||Cartoonist of the Year||Sharon Murdoch||Winner|
|Arts and Entertainment Reporter of the Year||Vicki Anderson||Winner|
|Best Short-form Feature Writer – Arts and Entertainment||Charlie Gates||Winner|
|2016||Voyager Media Awards||Videographer of the Year||Iain McGregor||Winner|
|Junior Feature Writer of the Year||Tess McClure||Winner|
|Cartoonist of the Year||Sharon Murdoch||Winner|
|2015||Voyager Media Awards||Best Environmental Photography||Kirk Hargreaves||Winner|
|Newspaper Feature Writer of the Year||Charles Anderson||Winner|
|Newspaper Feature Writer General||Charles Anderson||Winner|
|2013||Voyager Media Awards:||Best Sports Picture||Iain McGregor||Winner|
|2012||Voyager Media Awards||Editorial Writer of the Year||Bruce Rennie||Winner|
|Senior Newspaper Feature Writer of the Year||Martin van Beynen||Winner|
|Senior Reporter of the Year||Martin van Beynen||Winner|
|Junior Reporter of the Year||Olivia Carville||Winner|
|Arts and Entertainment Reporter of the Year||Vicki Anderson||Winner|
|Best Video||Daniel Tobin||Winner|
|2004||Qantas Media Awards||Senior Reporter of the Year||Yvonne Martin||Winner|
|Best single breaking news picture||David Hallett||Winner|
|Best Editorial Graphic Artist||Graphics team||Winner|
|Best Feature Writer (Environment and Conservation)||Kamala Hayman||Winner|
|Best Feature Writer (Junior)||Anna Claridge||Winner|
|Best Feature Writer (Crime and Justice)||Matt Conway||Winner|
|Best Feature Writer (Food and Nutrition)||Kate Fraser||Winner|
|Best Feature Writer (Human Relations)||Yvonne Martin||Winner|
|Best Feature Writer (Social issues)||Dave Courtney||Winner|
|Best Columnist (Sport and Racing)||Tony Smith||Winner|
|2000||Qantas Media Awards||Best Feature Writer (Human Relations)||Cate Brett||Winner|
|Best Feature Writer (Environment and Conservation)||Tim Pankhurst||Winner|
|Best Columnist (Overall)||Joe Bennett||Winner|
|Best Columnist (Humour)||David McPhail||Winner|
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