Trade mag chronicles 150 years

Britain’s oldest trade magazine, Local Government Chronicle, is gearing up to celebrate its 150th birthday.

The
weekly title, founded by campaigning publisher Charles Knight, was
first published in 1855, the year of Charlotte Bronte’s death and
Charles Dickens’ first instalment of Little Dorritt – and, arguably,
before the concept of local government even existed.

Knight had
lobbied for years against tax on newspapers and magazines, and
capitalised on the success of his campaign by launching the title,
originally known as Knight’s Official Advertiser of Local Management in
England.

Originally with a guaranteed circulation of 1,500, mainly to Poor Law officials, it now sells 7,800 copies a week.

To
celebrate its anniversary on November 1, the magazine – owned by Emap
since 1992 – is publishing a spe-cial edition looking at the title’s
history and impact, as well as comparing the salaries, customs and
clothing of local officials then and now.

Editor Richard Vize said: “You could argue that LGC is older than local government itself.  “When it launched in 1855, the term was barely used and no coherent system of local adminisdration existed.

“The
magazine’s biggest contribution over the past 150 years has been to
drive debate and provoke reform in local government, and we’re proud to
be celebrating that.”

As well as being Britain’s oldest trade title, the magazine was also arguably the first to launch a website, in 1992.

At
the time, with the internet little known outside academia, all
subscribers had to install LCGnet software on their computers to
receive weekly news.

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