The People’s Weekly, Moonta.

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Photo: State Library of South Australia.

The People’s weekly served the largest of the Yorke Peninsula towns, Moonta, for almost 80 years. Although, like the other Yorke Peninsula newspapers, it included some coverage for the surrounding towns, the Weekly concentrated mostly on the activities and interests of the people of Moonta. In 1891 the newspaper claimed to have the largest circulation on the Peninsula, with 1,000 subscribers in Moonta alone, as well as in the other towns. From late 1943 the newspaper’s coverage changed to include more Kadina news.

Mining Throughout its life, the newspaper reflected the importance of the local copper mining industry which was the reason for the existence of Moonta and the other copper towns. Detailed mining reports were regularly printed in the newspaper up until the last small private mining operations ceased in 1938. A series of interesting letters in 1895 by ‘Inquisitive’ described the working of the mining contract system.

In 1891 major industrial action took place, with a miners’ strike which lasted for 18 weeks. This was widely reported, gaining the support of workers, newspapers and church groups across the state. The Weekly was not convinced of the strike action being the best choice (26 September 1891), but nevertheless gave its support to the men.