The Junior Gazette

I’ve always been interested in journalism and writing stuff – stories, book reviews, movie reviews, whatever.

At the age of 12, I began writing / editing a small local paper called The Junior Gazette. I say small because it had about 10 readers (including my family) and cost about 50 cents per issue. But, all good – this was a learning curve for me because I guess it taught me about the importance of writing well, obtaining subscribers and, of course, money. Fifty cents isn’t much, but as a 13 year old, saying that you write and sell a local paper sounds good on your resume! And, it’s true!

 

{B} is for Bold!

I used to compose the paper using Word Perfect on my 286 computer – complete with 20MB hard drive and 4 megabytes of RAM. Top of the line back in 1995! Haha. Eventually, as it got closer to 1997, I began using Microsoft Publisher as part to Office ’97 (which is why you’ll notice the design changing a little in the images below).

While using a graphical based word processing tool like Microsoft Publisher was much faster than using Word Prefect (for which you had to use text-based commands to make text bold, italics, etc – much like coding HTML in the late 90’s – and even still today, from time to time), I remember that it just wasn’t as much fun. Tinkering with fonts & styles and then waiting 5 minutes for the damn thing to print on a noisy (and I mean, really noisy – even the chickens could hear it going from the back of our 2 acre property) dot matrix and finding out what it was all wrong, was actually fun. How I miss those days. The days when only true geeks (or children of them, as it was in my case), had computers.

 

Blast from the past

But, I digress. The other day, I was going through my filing cabinet at home, scanning all of my invoices and bills into my computer because the filing cabinet was overloaded with crap. After shredding the scanned bills and finding heaps more room in my filing cabinet as a result, I came across a pile of paper up the back. To my surprise, they were actual real, spare copies of The Junior Gazette – the newspaper I’d written as a 12 / 13 / 14 year old kid!

I’d since realised that The Junior Gazette was the name of a book or TV show or something, so I had pondered changing the name to something like The Senior Gazette at the time, but by then I was in high school and just didn’t have the time anymore.

 

Learning life’s lessons

Sadly I stopped writing the Junior Gazette in 1997, but after 20+ issues, it was certainly a success for me… not on the financial side of things (I think I made $100 off it all up, not including the food I used to cook and sell through the paper & the $2 fee that neighbours and family friends had to pay to place an ad in the paper!), but in terms of the education it gave me. I learnt so much about life and business from that local paper.

 

Looking forwards

It also gave me a stepping stone to the next stage – which was becoming editor for the Greenbank Neighbourhood Watch newsletter; a publication with over 500 readers! To this day, I still enjoy writing (as you can see), but tend not to have the time to write regularly anymore – hence the dribs and drabs of articles and stories on this website and the lack of a regular newspaper I try to flog off to my friends & family ;).

That said, I’ve been editing PFLAG Brisbane’s bi-monthly newsletter since 2005, so I guess I still have to open up Microsoft Publisher every now and then…

 

Ready for a laugh?

And now… the bit you’ve all been waiting for! Here are the scans of the issues that I found in my filing cabinet (sorted by issue):

 

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