The Avon Valley Advocate’s roots go back to 1893 when Northam’s first paper was started by J.T. Reilly
In 1895 its name became the Northam Advertiser.
Reilly sold the paper to politician Hal Colebatch who later passed it on to his son Harley who was Mayor of Northam twice.
Over the years ownership eventually passed to the Sunday Times group with a subsequent decline in local identity.
This led in the early 1980s to two Northam locals Steve Altham and Ray Adams setting up the Advocate in opposition.
It eventually took over the Advertiser.
In the late 1980s, accompanied by some unprintable skulduggery, the Advocate became a part of the Central West Media group which itself was sold to Rural Press in 1992.
Rural Press in turn merged with John Fairfax and Sons to become Fairfax Media.
Despite being part of a major media group, the Advocate, under its managing editor for eight years John Proud, steadfastly maintains its local flavour.