ON December 4, The Inverness Courier will reach the 200th anniversary of its first publication.
As the milestone in the paper's history approaches, we are undertaking a 200-day countdown highlighting some of the headlines on a year-by-year basis starting with the very first front page.
Since the first edition rolled off the presses in 1817, the Courier has been a constant and reliable presence in reporting the news and providing information from significant milestones in Inverness's history to momentous events worldwide, from the serious to the quirky.
It reported the opening of the Caledonian Canal, for example, the last public hanging in Inverness and the coronation of Queen Victoria.
Throughout the four years of World War I, it carried lists of local soldiers killed or injured in battle while in peacetime it recorded such events as the arrival of air travel and the opening of landmarks including Eden Court Theatre and the Kessock Bridge.
The paper has also battled for the area's people on numerous local issues including safeguarding the Highland Chieftain direct rail link between Inverness and London – a battle it took to Westminster and Holyrood.
And, of course, it was the Courier which on May 2, 1933, first reported on the modern-day phenomenon known as the Loch Ness Monster. The story that a Drumnadrochit couple had seen something strange in the loch near Abriachan was soon taken up by the national press and television and subsequently publicised to a global audience which remains enthralled today.
While the next 200 days will provide a glimpse into the headlines of the past two centuries, the anniversary itself will kick-start an exciting year-long programme of celebratory events and activities to be announced closer to the landmark day.
David Bourn, editorial director of Scottish Provincial Press, publisher of the Courier, hopes the public will be inspired to join in the special year.
He said: "Since it was first published, The Inverness Courier has remained a constant cornerstone in serving the news and information needs of the Highland capital. Generations of journalists have established it as a paper of record and placing it at the heart of the community, providing unrivalled coverage of events and issues which matter to local people."