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The Fleeting Years: SMH 170th Anniversary Editorial

This is an editorial that appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald on the 170th anniversary of the newspaper’s founding.

It provides a defence of the work of the press in Australian society.

Sydney Morning HeraldIn an age of impermanence it is something to endure. But as The Sydney Morning Herald marks its 170th anniversary today, it is not to celebrate mere longevity, not just to look back. Rather, it is an occasion to reflect on the essence of the newspaper, the qualities that have enabled it to grow as an institution and to serve the community, the State and the nation for so long.

A newspaper, like a living organism, develops constantly in lively response to the changing social, political and commercial environment. Yet it cannot survive if it abandons its fundamental beliefs and values. The Herald changes but has been constant in its insistence from the beginning that it will be “independent in thought and speech”. [Read more…]