The daily paper that carries Junior News has been going for a great deal longer. The Times of Malta, as it was known then, was founded in 1935. It is the oldest daily newspaper still on sale on the Maltese islands. It also has the widest circulation.

Allied Newspapers Limited, publishers of The Times, goes back to the 1920s when it pioneered journalism and the printing industry in Malta. It began with the publication of the first evening newspaper in Malta by Lord Strickland. It was called Il-Progress, had four pages and was published in Maltese, in its own printing offices at 10A, Strada Reale, Valletta. You can still see the name Progress today, as it was kept by the commercial sister of Allied Newspapers Limited, Progress Press Company Limited, formed in 1946.

Journalism in Maltese and English was introduced in 1922 with the publication of an English supplement to Il-Progress. The Times of Malta and Il-Progress lasted seven years and the English supplement changed to The Times of Malta Weekly, a forerunner of The Sunday Times of Malta. In1931, Progress Press moved from Strada Reale to its present address.

As readership of the English supplement grew, Lord Strickland thought there should be an English daily paper. The first issue of The Times of Malta was published on August 7, 1935. The flowing month, Lord Strickland's daughter Mabel, who was a founder member of Allied Malta Newspapers Limited and was one of members of the first Board of Directors, became the first editor of The Times of Malta, including during the difficult years of World War II.

It is well known that none of the newspapers forming part of the group ever missed an issue, in spite of continuous bombing and all kinds of shortages in the siege years between 1940 and 1943.

The building was bombed twice. On April 7, 1942 it received a direct hit and 16 were demolished. But the printing machines survived.

Ms Strickland also edited The Sunday Times of Malta until 1950.

The Times kept its tradition of never missing an issue when it was hit twice by industrial action, in 1973 and when arsonists burned down the building on October 15, 1979.

Then, in the face of serious danger, the editor, Charles Grech Orr and his staff had to abandon the building and go to Independence Press, where they started work all over again. The paper appeared as usual the following morning, reduced in size but a triumph for freedom of expression.

In 1989 Mr Grech Orr retired and was succeeded by Ray Bugeja, the current editor. From 1993 till 2003. Victor Aquilina was editor and that is where Junior News came in!

Progress in this decade has seen both The Times and Junior News being read on line, so Maltese children and their families living far away from our islands can enjoy a look at life at the stroke of a mouse!

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