Centralian Advocate

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Centralian Advocate
Centralian Advocate, 24 May 1947.PNG
Centralian Advocate, 24 May 1947
TypeBi-weekly newspaper
Owner(s)News Corp Australia
Founded24 May 1947
HeadquartersGap Road Alice Springs, Northern Territory

The Centralian Advocate is a bi-weekly newspaper at Alice Springs in the Northern Territory, Australia. Published on Tuesday and Friday, the Centralian Advocate is part of News Corp Australia. The newspaper claims a readership of 15,000 people and has an audited circulation of 4401.[1]

Early history[edit]

Charles "Pop" Chapman.
Charles "Pop" Chapman: Founder of the Centralian Advocate.

The Centralian Advocate was first published on 24 May 1947.[2] The newspaper was founded by Charles Henry "Pop" Chapman who had made his fortune gold mining in the Tanami Desert. The first edition contained a mix of news and opinion from Alice Springs and around the world. Mention was made of a predecessor, The Dead Heart, which was described as a "news sheet" that published 30 editions in seven months.[3]

Walter Allan was the inaugural editor. Allan Wauchope was editor and part-owner in January 1950 when the Centralian Advocate building on Railway Terrace was destroyed by fire, causing damage estimated at £15,000 and prompting the newspaper to criticise the lack of a fire brigade at that time in Alice Springs.

I'm writing this story on borrowed paper on a borrowed typewriter, and that opening sentence seems to me to be the height of irony. As the authorities of the Northern Territory Administration know only too well Centralian Advocate has been campaigning ceaselessly for the installation of a fire brigade in the town, but we didn't bargain upon being a burnt offering on the altar of the NT Administration's apathy.

War hero Jim Bowditch wrote for the newspaper from 1950–54 and later become editor of the NT News. Bowditch used the newspaper to campaign for the right of Aboriginal people with white heritage to receive full citizenship.[4] Bowditch was active in community affairs through his interests in politics, theatre and cricket.[5] Chapman sold the business in April 1949 to Wauchope, Ron Morcom and Mrs JH McArthur.[6] There were several other owners before News Corp bought the Centralian Advocate in 1966.

Production and distribution[edit]

Centralian Advocate on the press.
Centralian Advocate on the press, November 2014.

The Centralian Advocate currently employs nine journalists, two photographers, five advertising representatives and two administration workers. It is one of the few non-daily newspapers in Australia to have on-site sub-editors and photographers following widespread cuts at rival publisher Fairfax.[7]

The Centralian Advocate has at various times been printed in Darwin and Alice Springs. Printing ceased at Alice Springs in 2013. The Goss Community press was dismantled and sold in 2014, and it is now printed in Darwin on a KBA Comet web press in full colour.[8] It is transported 1500 km by truck to Alice Springs, which is believed to be one of the longest newspaper delivery runs in the world.

The newspaper claims a readership of 15,000 people and has an audited circulation of 4401.[1] In addition to Alice Springs, the Centralian Advocate is available for purchase at Tennant Creek, Darwin and Ayers Rock. The cover price is $1.10 on Tuesday and $1.40 on Friday.


  1. ^ a b "Centralian Advocate". 7 February 2018. Archived from the original on 2018-09-21. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  2. ^ Centralian Advocate, 24 May 1947
  3. ^ The Dead Heart passes, Centralian Advocate, 24 May 1947
  4. ^ "Hamilton, Stephen and Carment, David: The Northern Territory Press. Media International Australia, Incorporating Culture & Policy, No. 150, Feb 2014: 56-60" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2016-08-21. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  5. ^ Cyclops (21 April 2012). "Little Darwin: BOWDITCH STORMS ALICE SPRINGS AND GOES INTO PRINT. Continuing series by Peter Simon". Archived from the original on 2018-09-21. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  6. ^ Centralian Advocate, 22 April 1949
  7. ^ Meade, Amanda (16 October 2014). "Fairfax Media to get rid of subeditors and photographers at regional papers". the Guardian. Archived from the original on 2018-09-21. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  8. ^ "Centralian Advocate print shift stops press". 5 September 2012. Archived from the original on 2016-10-31. Retrieved 21 September 2018.