Prince Edward Island's The Guardian turns 125
Screencap of the first issue of a Guardian newspaper in PEI, dated July 2, 1887. (Credit: Guardian 125)
What is celebrating its 125th birthday and covers Prince Edward Island like the dew?
PEI’s daily paper, The Guardian, of course.
July 2, 1887 saw the first issue of a PEI newspaper bearing The Guardian name published, though back then it was called The Island Guardian and Christian Chronicle and was published weekly. It wasn’t until two changes in mangement later, in 1890, that the publication became a daily, as it is known today.
The paper has had quite a journey. As managing editor Gary MacDougall wrote in yesterday’s special on the paper’s birthday:
Through the decades there have been other variations on the name, such as Morning Guardian, Charlottetown Guardian and Guardian of the Gulf. There have also been a number of newspaper locations in the capital city, each new one built after the previous one burned, not an uncommon occurrence in the old Charlottetown dominated by wooden structures.
As Harry Holman, a former provincial archivist, told MacDougall, there was a time when The Guardian was fiercely partisan — not an uncommon editorial stance for newspapers back in the day. But with time, came objectivity. “As The Guardian has played more of a neutral role, it has actually become more important in shaping public opinion. Because no longer is the newspaper only a vehicle for seeing opinion that you agreed with, or facts interpreted in a way that you agreed with,” Holman told MacDougall.
The Guardian has been running a blog, Guardian 125, since the beginning of 2012 that ”is using some new technology to highlight those 125 years of Island news.”
The blog, and corresponding Twitter account, have been highlighting old stories that shed light on the history of not only the paper, but the province as well.
Check out The Guardian’s 125th birthday blog here.