The Argus in Brighton marked its 140th birthday with a four pages special including its first front pages and birthday messages from MPs, council leaders and their city’s football club.
Sussex’s only daily has enjoyed immense online readership growth in the past three years while also seeing great coverage in its newspapers, particularly during the start of the coronavirus outbreak, with ITV and Channel 4 both following their coverage in documentaries recently.
The newspaper, named after the all-seeing ancient Greek mythical giant with 100 eyes, delayed an anniversary supplement due to the pandemic but is running historic front pages in a special looking back series over the coming weeks, including the Brighton Bomb, outbreaks of war and sporting highlights.
Argus editor Arron Hendy (pictured) told readers: “It is an honour for myself and the rest of the fantastic team here to continue being the eyes and the ears of the city and the rest of Sussex.
“You can rest assured that while you are all leading busy lives we are at the courts, looking at council papers and holding other organisations to account on your behalf.
“The role of The Argus has never been so important.
“With the information overload available on the internet it is crucial that you have trained journalists checking facts and details and making sure you understand what can be relied upon as fact, and what is clearly opinion.” “This crucial role has hardly been more evident amid the coronavirus pandemic, where more and more readers have been coming to us as a central point where we provide news from multiple sources, be they local and central government, the police, and most importantly yourselves.”
Peter Kyle, the Labour MP for Hove, said: “Politicians come and go but The Argus has remained a mainstay of our city life for 140 years.
“We look at heritage buildings with reverence but The Argus too should be celebrated as an institution that spans generations and connects us to our history.
“Through the decades The Argus has given fiercely independent coverage of some of the world’s greatest challenges, bringing the world to our city and sharing our city with the world. No one who reads the paper today with its outstanding Covid-19 coverage can be in doubt it’s an institution we should value at least as much as previous generations, I certainly do.”
Lloyd Russell-Moyle, Labour MP for Brighton Kemptown, said: “I’d like to wish The Argus a happy 140th birthday! Whether it’s reporting on The Albion football club or local politics they’re always there to bring the latest to their readers and challenge those in power.
“I have a huge amount of respect for The Argus and their ability to produce quality content on a daily basis for what is one of not so many daily local newspapers left in the country.
“Although we are living in troubling times I am sure The Argus will be here for another 140 years to come either in print, online or whatever will come next.”
Caroline Lucas, Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, said: “Congratulations to The Argus on its 140th birthday.
“That is a huge achievement, especially when so many other local newspapers have struggled to survive.
“Brighton and Hove is a wonderful city and we are lucky to have such a vibrant press. The Argus is a pillar of press freedom in the city, and I hope it will continue to be so for the next 140 years.”
Paul Barber, Brighton and Hove Albion chief executive and deputy chairman, said: “The Argus has followed all our ups and downs. There’s been trips to Wembley, the big campaign for the Amex, and now our wonderful promotion and being in the Premier League.
“We would like to wish you a big, happy 140th birthday and look forward to another successful 140 years of covering the Albion.”
City councillor Dawn Barnett said: “I bought my first paper when I was seven when we moved to Brighton and I’m coming on 79 now.
“I love The Argus, I get it at ten to seven every morning and read every page first thing with a coffee.
“I don’t know what I would do without it.”