THE Border Watch newspaper began in 1861 and has remained under local ownership even since.
The newspaper was started by a woman, Janet Laurie and her two teenage sons, Andrew, 17, and James 15 and when it was first published on April 26, 1861 Janet Laurie became the founder, first owner, manager and editor.
She had been editor of the Portland Herald since 1854 and perhaps was the first female editor in Australian newspaper history. When she became manager of The Border Watch it is likely she was the first female newspaper manager in Australia.
In 1863 John Watson joined the business as editor and he occupied the editor’s chair for a world record 62 years and from 1863 the newspaper ran under the banner of Laurie and Watson Proprietors.
Through the generations the two families ran the newspaper until 1977 when it was sold to Allan Scott, AO through his television company South East Telecasters.
The newspaper still remains in the Scott family with Allan’s daughter Zena Winser and son Ray Scott the current owners.
In 1978 The Border Watch purchased the Penola Pennant and in 2007 bought the South Eastern Times and Millicent Print which operate from offices in Millicent.
The Border Watch began as a once-a-week publication published every Friday. In 1866 it moved to twice a week with a Wednesday edition and in 1926 went to three times a week with Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday editions.
In 1981 a fourth edition was introduced on the Monday and today the newspaper continues four times a week on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
The Border Watch newspaper group employs 45 staff and attracts readership throughout the Limestone Coast and into the Western District of Victoria.
It has been active member of Country Press SA for more than a century and won the top regional newspaper award in 2004, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.
The Border Watch remains South Australia’s largest regional newspaper.