First Asian free newspaper ‘discovered’
Thanks to a post on Twitter by “Journo-Blogger” Rocky Bru, president of Malaysia’s National Press Club, I was made aware of free newspaper “The Leader” published in 1993 and perhaps in 1994 in Malaysia.
The English language newspaper, published by Utusan Group for the Klang Valley region, was founded by Frankie d’Cruz and Nadeswaran. Mr.Cruz also served as news editor of The Malay Mail, a paper that went free in 2009. Nadeswaran moved to The Sun, a paper that moved to free distribution in 2002.
The Leader had only a “limited circulation” according to “Democracy in Malaysia: discourses and practices“, a book by Francis Kok-Wah Loh and Boo Teik Khoo, and was closed down later (no date given).
The new discovery expands the list of pre-Metro (Stockholm, February 1995) free dailies to twenty titles (the ones with a * have been closed down already).
- 1885 General-Anzeiger für Lübeck und Umgebung* (Germany)
- 1906 Manly Daily (Australia)
- 1945 Der Panzerbär* (Berlin, one week)
- 1947 Contra Costa News* (USA)
- 1970 Colorado Daily (USA)
- 1974 MetroNews (Sao Paulo, Brazil)
- 1978 Aspen Daily News (USA)
- 1978 Jackson Hole Daily (USA)
- 1981 Vail Daily (USA)
- 1983 Eindhovens Dagblad* (Netherlands, 2 weeks)
- 1984 Birmingham Daily News* (UK, -1992)
- 1988 Aspen Times (USA)
- 1989 Steamboat Today (USA)
- 1989 Conway Daily Sun (USA)
- 1990 Summit Daily News (USA)
- 1992 Moscow Times (Russia)
- 1992 Mini Diario* (Spain, -2008)
- 1993 The Leader* (Malaysia)
- 1994 Berlin Daily Sun (USA)
- 1995 Palo Alto Daily News (USA)