Sam Parker’s election as editor in 2008 marked a major change of direction for The Courier. After fifty years as predominantly a tabloid, and over a decade of an explicitly tabloid-esque design, the paper suddenly took on the appearance of a broadsheet in all but size.
A new masthead and more restrained use of colour gave The Courier a much more serious look, while the previously brash and colourful Pulp was toned down. Every issue now included a full page interview, while the comment section was expanded to two pages. The size of the paper also increased from 36 to 44 pages, with 16 now given over to Pulp.
Further changes came over the Christmas break. Parker realised that “Pulp was the pull-out than no-one pulled out”, and so the former magazine became fully integrated into the main paper as a new culture section.
Parker’s successor, David Coverdale, made further changes. Comment was expanded and given its own section editors, while a TV page was reintroduced. Meanwhile a six-page “Life & Style” section was added, covering everything from travel and food to relationships and fashion. In January 2010 Kat Bannon and David Leslie made history went they went on the first Courier blind date.
Fashion became a separate section the following year, with lifestyle and culture sections now accounting for about half of the paper. But current affairs were by no means neglected: in a year which saw protests and sit-ins over rising tuition fees, pay cuts for staff and various other changes to the University, the news section often featured editorials, analysis and opinion pieces, in addition to the four-page comment section.
Newcastle’s first student media awards were held in 2010, shortly before a major Union refurbishment saw the Courier office temporarily relocated to Park Terrace. When the Union reopened a year later, The Courier was moved upstairs, its former home now a disabled access ramp.