[Editor: This notice, an introduction to the first issue of The Age newspaper, was published in the “Miscellaneous” advertising section in The Age (Melbourne, Vic.), 17 October 1854.]
A Journal of Politics, Commerce, and Philanthropy,
The Record of Great Movements, the Advocacy of Free Institutions, the Diffusion of Truth, and the Advancement of Man.
The projectors of “A New Morning Journal” have received assurances of support so numerous and gratifying, as to justify the confident belief that their proposal, carried out in its integrity, would be attended with entire success, and that they were not mistaken in the impression that the want of a Journal of the character indicated in their Prospectus, is extensively and deeply felt.
It will be conceded that a wide field is now left unoccupied by the press of Melbourne, — that a large portion of Colonial Society is unrepresented, and destitute of any organ capable of adequately expressing its views, recording its movements, and doing justice to its motives. It is especially to supply this great desideratum that The Age is projected. Though not ranking with what are popularly known as religious newspapers, it will be conducted with an entire and cordial sympathy with the movements of christian men — maintaining an earnest antagonism to intemperance, and all the institutions and usages that support it — and to every social custom that tends to weaken the hold of high principles upon the human heart — and seeking to make the mighty power of the press subservient to the diffusion of a pure and christian morality. It will be pledged from the onset by the most satisfactory guarantees to an unsectarian and catholic character. It will be the servant of no party or denomination in the Church, nor of any faction in the State. Its columns will be freely open to record the proceedings of religious bodies, and resolutely closed against all matters of mere polemics.
In its literary character it is hoped The Age will be found to assume a higher position than that of any existing journal in the Colony. The proprietors are content with this simple announcement of the intentions with which they set about their task. It will be seen from the columns of the new journal, how far their designs are realized.
The politics of The Age will be liberal, aiming at a wide extension of the rights of free citizenship and a full development of representative institutions. Believing that public order is essential to the preservation of national liberties, it will in all cases uphold the inviolability of law, and urge the reform of abuses and the redress of grievances by means purely constitutional. It will advocate the removal of all restrictions upon freedom of commerce, freedom of religion, and — to the utmost extent that is compatible with public morality — upon freedom of personal action. Whilst boldly asserting the rights of citizenship in a free State, it will faithfully point out its duties, and aim at the creation of a high-toned public spirit amongst all classes of society. Convinced that our further and permanent progress is to be looked for, more from the settlement and cultivation of the Colony, than from the wonderful mineral wealth that would seem to have answered its purpose in attracting hither the elements of a great people, its conductors will give their unremitting advocacy to every scheme that promises, by attaching that people to the soil, to give them a powerful and lasting interest in the well-being of their adopted country.
Whilst, however, decided in its political principles, and firm in maintaining them, its discussions of public questions will be uniformly marked by a spirit of candour and courtesy; personal invectives, and the imputation of sinister motives to public men, being held unworthy weapons of personal warfare, incompatible alike with gentlemanly feeling and christian principle.
No endeavour will be wanting to render The Age a high Commercial authority — a department of its editorial management to which the utmost attention will be constantly paid. Its shipping and market intelligence will be late and reliable. It will take cognizance of all circumstances that affect public and private credit, maintain a vigilant watchfulness over the general interests of the mercantile community, and exert its utmost influence to promote the completion of these great public works, on which so much of the prosperity of the country depends.
In its Reports of public proceedings — the sittings of Council and of the Courts of Law, the meetings of commercial companies and of religious and philanthropic institutions — The Age will aim at being comprehensive, accurate and impartial. It will, however, carefully exclude all matter unfitted for the domestic circle; a policy indispensable to a journal designed for the home as well as the counting house, and by no means incompatible with its fidelity as a historian of passing events.
The proprietors of The Age are already enabled to guarantee Advertisers a circulation second only to the Argus, — a circulation, which, from its character as well as its extent, renders it a most desirable medium for all business announcements.
Office — 21 Elizabeth Street, South, Melbourne.
September 8, 1854.
The Age (Melbourne, Vic.), 17 October 1854, p. 1 (column 6)
catholic = all-embracing, all-encompassing, general in range, wide variety of different things, varied, universal; broad range of interests or tastes (e.g. to have a catholic taste in music); broad-minded; all kinds or types of people; of or relating to the Roman Catholic Church
Council = the Legislative Council (the upper house of parliament in the various colonies and states of Australia)
desideratum = something which is desired or wanted (especially something which is considered to be essential or very much needed)
intemperance = lack of temperance, moderation, or restraint, especially regarding the excessive or habitual drinking of alcoholic beverages; excessive or wanton indulgence of one’s appetites, base desires, or passions; a lack of control over one’s emotions (especially anger)
liberal = classically liberal, advocating that people should have a lot of social, political, and economic freedoms and liberties; open-minded, tolerant
organ = a magazine, newsletter, or periodical; the official publication or periodical of a group or organisation
unsectarian = not sectarian, i.e. not adhering to or promoting the beliefs or views of a particular religion, denomination, doctrine, sect, or ideology (a sectarian person is someone who rigidly follows such a belief system, often with the connotation of doing do in a narrow-minded, bigoted, or intolerant manner; a zealot)
[Editor: Changed “preservavion” to “preservation”; “wondefrul” to “wonderful”; “indispensible” to “indispensable”. Added a full stop after “passing events”.]