29th June 1813
The Star was published for the first time
Guernsey has had several newspapers over the years. The existing Guernsey Press has naturally been by far the most successful.
The earliest was La Gazette de L’Ile de Guernsey which, as its name suggests, was published in French. It first appeared in 1789. Others French-language papers, including Thomas de la Rue’s La Publiciste and Le Miroir Politique, followed in subsequent years.
However, Guernsey’s earliest English-language paper was The Star. It was first published in St Peter Port on 29 June 1813 – a full eighty-four years before the Guernsey Evening Press. It was initially published every seven days and carried the alternative title Guernsey Weekly Advertiser.
The Star and The Guernsey Evening Press merged to form the Guernsey Press and Star in 1965.
Guernsey, by GWS Robinson, noted that between the Gazette de L’Ile de Guernsey’s first distribution, and the book’s publication in 1977 by David & Charles, Guernsey had been home to 29 newspapers that had lasted 12 months or longer.
Celebrating two centuries
The 200th anniversary of the merged newspaper, counting from the first publication of The Star, was celebrated in a series of stamps from Guernsey Post. The stamps were designed by Charlotte Barnes and released on 31 July 2013. The stamps’ covering notes reproduced The Star’s original mission statement, to provide islanders with news from London alongside “historical anecdotes, biographical sketches of the most eminent men of every nation, and of every age; original and select poetry”.
Although The Star and The Guernsey Evening Press had both existed throughout the occupation, neither was published every day due to paper shortages. The occupying forces instituted a schedule whereby one would be published one day and the other the next. The Germans’ own paper, the Deutsche Guernsey-Zeitung, was published alongside the local titles between 1942 and the end of the war.
The Guernsey Press, as the merged newspapers are now known, publishes six days a week and is read by an average of 39,000 people per copy. Along with the Jersey Evening Post, it is owned by Wolverhampton-based Claverley Group.