In 1985 as The Irish Press faced a lock-out of 850 workers over the introduction of new technology, it seemed that provincial newspapers were thriving.

1985 saw the launch of a new provincial newspaper, The Athlone Observer, published by same group that run the Galway Observer. 

Bob McDonald, one of the directors of both the Galway and Athlone Oberver, spoke to RTÉ News from the Galway studio. 

The newspaper will be delivered free-of-charge to homes and businesses in the Athlone, Moate and Ballinasloe areas. A total of 12,500 newspapers will be distributed.

Bob predicts that the future of newspapers will be free with a balance between editorial content and advertising. 

A Morning Ireland report by David Hanly broadcast on 20 May 1985.