A large pile of yellowing newspapers has been sitting outside the office of Gold Coast Bulletin editor Cath Webber for almost six months, as staff prepared for a year of celebrations to mark the paper’s 130th anniversary.
“It’s like moving house – you sit down with the photo album [and] as soon as you open one folder, how can you not reminisce. They’re brilliant,” Ms Webber said.
Following the March 28 special commemorative edition, the Bulletin will spend the rest of the year highlighting moments from the paper’s past, and documenting key moments in the city’s development.
Ms Webber and her reporters have spent hours and days sorting through – and being distracted by – mountains of old editions. They are looking for stories they can feature in weekly flashback columns and post on social media.
Another ongoing feature will be lists of 130 things – for example, the next such item will be the Gold Coast’s 130 favourite moments, drawing on historical content from the newspaper.
Some of the strongest reader reaction so far has been to antique ads.
“Readers are loving it right down to something as simple as a carton of beer for $15, or encouraging your husband to get his wife a Mixmaster,” Ms Webber said.
The commemorative liftout last month featured collages of historical front pages and vintage advertising, as well as highlights from the history of the Gold Coast as told on the pages of the Bulletin.
Reporters have tracked down many of the people on 30- and 40-year-old front pages for a series of stories.
There’s a 130th-anniversary book in the works, and a celebratory event later in the year.
Ms Webber says the secret to the Bulletin’s longevity is that it “lives and breathes the Gold Coast lifestyle”.
“We love being a tabloid, we like pushing things to the limit. We’re so hyperlocal,” Ms Webber said.
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