The public conversation about the fiftieth anniversary of Australian television in the media and on TV has reinvigorated the nostalgia of popular memory, but has also highlighted its institutionally inflected construction. In this paper, I conceive of Australian viewing history as a series of purpose-built narratives. My interest is in the public stories that define the experience of watching television and the nature of the invitation offered to viewers. Accordingly, in my extended examination of The Daily Telegraph archive, I reconstruct a narrative in which the paper's Sydney readers are encouraged, initially, to imagine themselves as pioneers in Australian TV history and, a few months later, to become a part of the local TV community. Within the lively tabloid format of the Telegraph, television becomes the centre of a critical discourse about its duty to entertain that focuses on issues of both community and national identity.