The history of the Adelaide Review, a magazine for the ‘thinking Adelaidean’, is inextricably bound up with that of Christopher Pearson (1951–2013).
The publication, which aims to provide South Australia with an ‘independent source of social, cultural and political analysis and review’, was born in March 1984 when Mark Jamieson produced a monthly magazine, staffed largely by unemployed writers, that reflected ‘the intensive motivation and enthusiasm of innovative people who believe in freedom of speech and the public’s right to alternative news sources’.
Pearson joined the magazine from the third issue and, when it looked like closing in 1985, took over ownership, keeping it alive with the help of generous friends. Publication of the Review varied from fortnightly to monthly at various times, but in its current iteration it is a monthly news magazine that aims to cover ‘social, political and lifestyle issues with integrity, independence, heart and intelligence’.
The Adelaide Review experienced a second major crisis when Pearson ran out of funds early in the new millennium and was forced to sell the magazine to Spanish publisher Javier Moll, owner of the publishing firm Editorial Prensa Ibérica, although he continued to work with and influence the magazine. On Pearson’s death in July 2013, the Adelaide Review ran a lengthy tribute to him that included the following statement from Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who had been a contributing columnist to the magazine for a decade: ‘To know Christopher well was to have a grandstand seat at the clash of mighty emotions as well as to have the benefit of a fine mind and a good heart.’
The Adelaide Review operates out of an Ad- elaide CBD address, and has a dozen full-time staff and a long list of contributing writers. The managing director is Manuel Ortigosa, the general manager is Luke Stegemann and the editor is David Knight. Its parent company is Global Intertrade.
Readers of the Adelaide Review are mostly from Adelaide’s city centre and inner suburbs, although the magazine also attracts readers from ‘key regional centres’; it appeals to mostly well-off and well educated magazine buyers, which also means they are older (30-plus) than the typical Adelaide news audience. The magazine’s audited print circulation is 28,648 and it lists 15,000 unique website visitors a month. In addition to its website, it also maintains Facebook and Twitter social media sites.