Sparks From the Anvil - The Press
18 January 1924 Adelong and Tumut Express and Tumbarumba Post
By George Clout
History tells us that the first newspaper of any note in Australia was printed in 1803, and in 1831 the “Sydney Herald” first saw the light.
Looking back, therefore, over the first century, what a notable triumph has been achieved by the Press!
It has brought the light of education to thousands of homes throughout the Commonwealth, to millions throughout the world; its voice has ever been raised on behalf of the liberty of the people, the amelioration of suffering humanity, and in fearless defiance of injustice, corruption and tyranny.
Kings have fallen from their high estate, empires have crumbled into dust, and Parliaments have perished; but the Press still stands firm, and can only perish when the civilisation which it has helped to create perishes with it.
Referring specially to the Australian press, it is almost universally admitted by those competent to judge that it is quite equal to those of older lands.
Mr. Foster Frazer, a pressman himself and certainly no mean authority, has told us that the news papers throughout this country were animated by a high sense of responsibility, and that the standard of excellence, and widespread information of the Australian press is superior to what he has noticed in any other part of the English-speaking world.
And its future must be still one of advancement.
It will still attract to its ranks cultured and thoughtful men.
Its voice will still be raised against injustice and oppression.
Its’ ideal will still be for nobler aspirations and purer laws, and its advocacy of peace, good-will to men, will tend to realise that grand ideal foreshadowed by Tennyson: -
When the war-drum beats no longer
And the battle flag's unfurled
In the Parliament of man -
The Federation of the World.
When that glorious consummation has been arrived at; when we, in the beautiful words of Holy Writ, have “beaten our swords into plow shares and our spears into pruning hooks", then our dearest hopes, our fondest aspirations, will have been realised, and the Press will reign triumphant throughout the world.