The Courier-Mail: Wikis


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The Courier-Mail masthead
Courier-Mail front page 2008-07-25.jpg
Front page of The Courier-Mail
25 July 2008
Type Daily newspaper
Format Tabloid
Owner News Corporation
Publisher Queensland Newspapers
Editor David Fagan
Founded 1933
Language English
Headquarters Australia Brisbane, Australia
41 Campbell St
Bowen Hills QLD 4006
Circulation 224,689 Monday-Friday
326,767 Saturday
Official website

The Courier-Mail is a daily newspaper published in Brisbane, Australia. Owned by News Corporation, it is published daily from Monday to Saturday in tabloid format. Its editorial offices are located at Bowen Hills, in Brisbane's inner northern suburbs, and it is printed at Murarrie, in Brisbane's eastern suburbs.



The Courier, initially named Moreton Bay Courier, later the Brisbane Courier and since 1933 known as the Courier-Mail, was established as a weekly paper in June 1846, it became a bi-weekly in January 1858, a tri-weekly in December 1859 and finally a daily newspaper under the editorship of Theophilus Parsons Pugh from 14 May 1861.

The recognised founder and first editor of the Courier was Arthur Sidney Lyon (1817–1861) who was assisted by its printer, the later mayor of Brisbane and member of Queensland Legislative Council, the hon James Swan (1811–1891). Lyon, also referred to as the "father of the Press" in the colony of Queensland, had previously served as a writer and journalist in Melbourne and he would move on to found and edit journals such as Moreton Bay Free Press, North Australian and Darling Downs Gazette.[1] He arrived in Brisbane from Sydney in early 1846 with a plan to establish a newspaper, possibly influenced by Rev. Dr. John Dunmore Lang, who had encouraged Lyon to emigrate to Australia. Lyon then persuaded James Swan, a printer who had previously worked on Rev. Dr. John Dunmore Lang's newspaper "The Colonialist in Sydney. The two men established themselves in a garret of a building on the corner of Queen Street, Brisbane and Albert Street, Brisbane (a building later known as the North Star Hotel).

The first issue of the Moreton Bay Courier, consisting of 4 pages, appeared on Saturday 20 June 1846 with Arthur Sidney Lyon as editor and James Swan as publisher. It was published weekly on Saturdays.

However, after about 18 months of working together, Lyon and Swan continually disagreed on many aspects of editorial policy, including transportation of convicts and squatting, and Lyon took over sole control in late 1847. However, Lyon ran into money problems, allowing James Swan to take sole control. Eventually James Swan sold the newspaper to Thomas Blacket Stephens in 1859[2][3].

The Moreton Bay Courier was purchased by Thomas Blacket Stephens in May 1861, and he soon turned it into a daily newspaper, the Courier. In 1864 it became the Brisbane Courier. In June-July 1868, he floated the Brisbane Newspaper Company, and transferred the plant and copyright of the Brisbane Courier to it.[4] He was the managing director until he retired in November 1873, when the paper was auctioned.[5][6] The Journal was then from November 1873 to December 1880 managed by one of the new part owners, the Tasmanian born former public servant Gresley Lukin (1840–1916), in almost the entire period of which Lukin functioned as 'managing editor' whereas the actual writing and editing was in the hands of the Irishman, William Augustine O'Carroll (1831–1885) with various sub-editors or editors of the 'literay staff' meaning the Queenslander. Most prominat of these were William Henry Traill (1842–1902), the later NSW politician and editor of the famed Sydney journal 'The Bulletin', and the Danish born but English and French educated Carl Adolf Feilberg (1844–1887). Carl Feilberg followed William Henry Trail in the function of political commentator and the de-facto editor of the Queenslander from early January to about 1 January 1881, yet he would later succeed William O'Carroll taking position as the editor-in-chief of the Courier from September 1883 to his death in October 1887. Lukin's part-ownership and managing editorship proprietorship changed hands on 21 December 1880 to the former 'Postmaster General' in the first McIlwraith government, Charles Hardie Buzacott (1835–1918), who had previously served as a journalist on the staff and otherwise had a distinguished career as a Queensland newspaper editor and proprietor. John James Knight was editor-in-chief of the Brisbane Courier 1906-16 and later was managing director and then chairman of all the company's publications.[7]

The first edition of The Courier-Mail was published on 28 August 1933 after a merger of The Brisbane Courier (founded as The Moreton Bay Courier on 20 June 1846) and The Daily Mail (first published on 3 October 1903). This merger was necessitated by the Great Depression which had caused both papers to make financial losses.

Political position

Like most newspapers owned by News Corporation, The Courier-Mail generally supports free market economic policies and the process of globalisation. It supported the 2003 invasion of Iraq[citation needed].


The Courier-Mail has the fourth-highest circulation of any daily newspaper in Australia with 224,689 sales Monday to Friday, and 326,767 on Saturdays (June 2006 figures). Around three-quarters of the paper's readership is located in the Brisbane metropolitan area.[8]

Although often claimed to be Brisbane's only daily newspaper since the demise of the afternoon newspaper The Telegraph in 1988, it arguably has had two competitors since 2007. News Corporation itself has published mX, a free afternoon newspaper, since 2007, but mX has a relatively low news content. However, Fairfax Media has published the online Brisbane Times since 2007, which has comparable news content to


  • 1846 Arthur Sidney Lyon (first editor)
  • early to mid 1850s William Wilks
  • 1859-1863 Theophilus Parsons Pugh (also the publisher of 'Pugh's Almanac')
  • 1864-1866 David Frederick Tudor Jones
  • 1873-1875 Gresley Lukin (assisted by William O'Carroll)
  • 1875 - Dec 1880 William O'Carroll (Queensland journalist) (as the de facto editor, officially edited by the managing editior Gresley Lukin)
  • Jan 1881- Sep 1883 William O'Carroll (as the de facto editor, although officially edited by the managing editor Charles Hardie Buzacott)
  • Sep 1883 - Oct 1887 Carl Adolf Feilberg
  • Oct 1887 - Dec 1887 Edmund John T Barton (later Author of the 'Jubilee History of Queensland)
  • Jan 1888 - Jun 1891 William Kinnaird Rose
  • Jan 1894 - Nov 1898 Frederick William Ward
  • Dec 1898 - Apr 1903 C.B Fletcher
  • Jun 1900 - Jun 1916 J J Knight
  • Jun 1916 - Jun 1919 J MacGregor
  • Jun 1919 - ? (after 1926)
  • 2008 David Fagan


Prominent journalists and columnists include Terry Sweetman and Mike O'Connor. Its current Editor is David Fagan, who is married to columnist and 612 ABC Brisbane radio broadcaster Madonna King. Deputy editor is Steve Gibbons, former editor-in-chief of the Australian Provincial Newspapers group and a senior editor at The Age and Sunday Age in Melbourne. Its editorial cartoonist is Sean Leahy. For thirty years the paper's senior rugby league football journalist was former Australian vice-captain Jack Reardon.

Change to tabloid

Front page of The Courier-Mail, December 12, 2005, prior to its conversion to a compact format.

From its inception until recently The Courier-Mail was a broadsheet newspaper. On 14 December 2005 it was announced that the paper would change to a tabloid sometime in early 2006, however the term "tabloid" was not used in favour of the term "compact"[9]. This linguistic choice was probably related to widespread public view that many tabloids, including those published by News Limited, were low quality publications (see tabloid for discussion of this size and quality issue). Much emphasis was made that it was merely the paper size that was changing and not the journalistic quality. The last broadsheet edition was published on Saturday 11 March 2006, and the first tabloid edition was published on Monday 13 March 2006. On the same day, the paper's website was revamped and expanded.

The change to a "compact" format brought The Courier-Mail in line with all other News Limited Australian metropolitan daily newspapers. This followed the change to a tabloid format by The Advertiser of Adelaide - another News Corporation newspaper - some years earlier. Despite the claims that there would be no loss of journalistic quality, the Courier-Mail in its "compact" format is not well-regarded for its journalism, e.g. Crikey described it as "one of the contestants in a close run field for worst paper in Australia"[10].

See also


  1. ^ Brisbane Courier 26 Oct 1861, p2c (obituary for Lyon); Brisbane Courier 22 Aug 1887, p.6 & 22 June 1926 'The Story of the Courier'
  2. ^ Brisbane Courier, Tuesday 2 June 1891, page 5
  3. ^ Brisbane Courier, Saturday 20 June 1896, pages 7-8
  4. ^ T. B. Stephens (July 2, 1868). "Notice". The Brisbane Courier. 
  5. ^ Stephens, Thomas Blacket (1819 - 1877), Australian Dictionary of Biography
  6. ^ Judith Womersley, Mark Richmond (2001). AussieData: From Prehistory to the Present. Wakefield Press. p. 160. ISBN 1862545456. 
  7. ^ H. J. Summers, 'Knight, John James (1863 - 1927)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 9, MUP, 1983, pp 622-623
  8. ^ "The Courier-Mail Demographics". Retrieved 2007-02-09. 
  9. ^ Blog of Andrew Bartlett
  10. ^ Crikey Bias-o-meter: The Newspapers
  • Brisbane Courier 22 June 1926 'Eightieth Birthday Number'
  • Browne, Reginald Spencer: 'A Journalist’s Memories', Read Press, Brisbane 1927, 351 pages & index.
  • Cryle, Denis: 'The Press In Colonial Queensland: A Social and Political History 1845-1875', Brisbane 1995, 191 pages.

External links

Simple English

The Courier-Mail is a newspaper made in Australia. It is made by an Australian company called News Limited. The Courier-Mail is published during the week in Brisbane. The first issue was published 1933.

Other websites

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