The history of NZ newspapers would shame the Facebook generation

It’s well known – in fact, a celebrated part of West Coast mythology – that Hokitika at the height of the 19th century gold rush had 72 pubs. What’s not so well known is that the rambunctious goldfields town also had 14 newspapers.

Historian Ian F Grant’s new book, Lasting Impressions: The story of New Zealand’s newspapers, 1840-1920, reveals that an extraordinary 38 papers, many of them dailies, were launched on the West Coast between 1864 and 1898 – an indication of the miners’ interest in public affairs and hunger for information.

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