FROM Serviceton to Ararat, Hopetoun to Harrow, fires to floods and everything in between – The Wimmera Mail-Times has been there for it all for 58 years.
The Mail-Times was borne out of the West Wimmera Mail and the Horsham Times.
The Times’ first edition was produced in July 1873, when Horsham’s population was just 350 people. The first edition of the Mail was published in January 1887.
After many changes to both publications in the years after, the two merged in September 1959 to create The Wimmera Mail-Times, with Frank and Allan Lockwood as manager and editor respectively. The paper, printed in Horsham, became the biggest circulation tri-weekly in Australia.
The printing press was later moved to Bendigo and the Horsham presses rolled for the final time in January 2001. The paper started being printed in Ballarat in 2002 and is still printed there today.
Mail-Times ownership has undergone many changes since the masthead’s inception. Independent Newspapers Ltd bought the paper in 1990 before ownership transferred to Rural Press in 2002. Rural Press merged with Fairfax Media in 2007.
The Mail-Times’ printing and collation methods have gone from hot metal, to offset lithography, then to computers through Pongrass make-up software. The first edition using Cybergraphic newspaper make-up software was printed in 2000.
In 2015, the Mail-Times underwent a major shift to a revolutionary internet-based, digital-first publishing system, NewsNow.
NewsNow allows journalists to write directly into a space in a newspaper template while simultaneously publishing their stories for online. This model is now used in more than 150 Fairfax newspapers across the country.
As people across the Wimmera – and around the world – have become increasingly engaged with online platforms, the Mail-Times has moved with them to ensure we deliver news where, when and how our audience wants it.
Technology has opened the doors to more ways of connecting with our community than ever and consistently provides new and exciting products to help us tell your stories in print and online.
There have been huge changes since the paper’s inception in 1959, but one thing has remained constant: The Wimmera Mail-Times is the voice of the region and its people.