City & Politics, History

Today, in the past: The Chronicle-Herald

Today, in the past is a weekly look at a significant event, mostly Canadian but sometimes otherwise, that has taken place on a specific day. This day.

Here’s a historic nod to an old, Canadian newspaper: on January 14, 1875, when newspapers directly transplanted from England were sprinkling parts of the country, The Chronicle-Herald published its first issue. The Halifax-based paper is ranked one of the country’s oldest, and its beginnings during what’s known as the Third Period of Canadian journalism are not uninteresting.

Canada’s first newspaper, Halifax Gazette, was published on March 23, 1752 during the First Period, 1752-1807, when the new, struggling, burgeoning newspaper industry was dependent on government help and relatively impotent as a watchdog.

The Second Period, 1807-1858:  Cheers to a more robust, intellectual press. During this period, newspapers started to get the attention and financial support of advertisers, and were able to distance themselves from government controls. A few Canadian papers currently enjoyed, or at least currently read, began in this climate.

The Third Period, 1858-1900: Now enters The Chronicle-Herald. More papers began publishing in the west, following the trajectory of the settlers, naturally. Freedom of the press legislation was becoming more clearly defined and more important, as, I imagine, the power and influence of transmitted words and ideas swelled.

The period in newspaper history after the Third is too important to bundle and too detailed for this Today, in the past entry. But it is a history worth knowing.


Toban Dyck is a writer/editor/farmer. Follow him @tobandyck.

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