The Orcadian, Orkney’s biggest selling weekly newspaper, is beginning 2004 with a bang.
To mark the start of the paper’s 150th anniversary, a special January 1 souvenir edition was produced, including a 20-page supplement charting its development through the past century-and-a-half.
There was also a reprint of the first issue – all four pages of it – from 1854.
The Orcadian has also been given a new look, complete with new mastheads on the front and back pages, to coincide with the anniversary.
The new design is being incorporated on The Orcadian’s website, which is updated twice daily with the latest news from around the islands.
News editor Stuart Laundy said: “It has been a busy few weeks for us in the run up to the start of our 150th anniversary.
“We have already made some changes, such as bringing in new columnists to complement those who have contributed to the success of the paper for some time, and introducing other features, including the immensely popular locally-set crossword.
“We have others in the pipeline, and producing a special edition to mark the start of our anniversary seemed like the natural way to kick things off.
“Everyone pulled together in the run up to Christmas to produce the supplement, which was included in our January 1 issue.”
With a large subscriber base of Orcadians who have moved away from the islands, the paper is unique in that it sells more copies each week than there are houses in the county. Its last ABC figure was sales of 11,154 a week.
The paper, founded by James Urquhart Anderson, remains a family-run enterprise, and the current editor and proprietor is James Miller, Anderson’s great, great, great grandson.
Since those early days the publishing company has expanded into one of the principal employers in Orkney with a workforce of more than 40, engaged in a variety of activities, including newspaper and book publishing, commercial printing and design, and retail and office services.
However, the company is best known as publisher of The Orcadian newspaper which is now seen as part of the islands’ history and culture.
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