The 2011 elections saw Simon Murphy crowned the next Courier editor. Murphy won numerous prizes, at the Union’s student media awards and at the Guardian’s national version, but ultimately was too successful for The Courier. Having been awarded the prestigious Scott Trust Bursary to study an journalism Master’s at City University, Murphy made the difficult decision to resign as editor, just four days into the job. Faced with an unprecedented situation, the Union gave the job to the runner up in the election, sports editor (and one half of the first Courier blind date) Kat Bannon.
Bannon gave the design of the paper an update, including giving each culture section its own colour and resurrecting the pull-out idea, now called C2. A science section was also added. While the paper’s inspirations in the 1990s were The Sun and the Daily Mirror, The Courier was now modelled on The Guardian.
A more radical redesign followed after Christmas. A new, less austere masthead was introduced, and the C2 branding was dropped. But the main focus of Bannon’s tenure as editor was on sport.
A former sports editor, Bannon increased the size of the sports section to 10 pages a week, while the paper as a whole was now 48 pages. The 2012 Stan Calvert issue saw a total of 22 pages of sport, as part of a bumper 64-page edition of the paper. In her farewell editorial Bannon paid tribute to one of the sports editors, Colin Henrys, who also won an “outstanding contribution to The Courier” award at the end of year media awards.
Bannon’s successor, Ben Travis, reduced the sports section to a mere eight pages, whilst also launching a beauty section and overseeing yet another redesign of the Courier website. Bannon and Travis’ changes were rewarded when The Courier won Best Publication at the Guardian Student Media Awards in 2012, and again in 2013 – the first time the paper had won since 1994.
When George Sandeman took over he reduced the size of the paper from 48 to a more manageable 40 pages, and replaced the features section with a system where each culture section would gain a feature page on rotation throughout the year.
Tom Nicholson added a gaming section to take the total number of Courier sections to 12, and under Nicholson and his successors, Victoria Armstrong and Jade Holroyd, the paper has continued to play an important role in University life. The paper was runner-up for best publication at the final Guardian Student Media Awards in 2015, and 2016 saw the launch of the newly-digitised Courier archive, making the paper’s 68 years of history available for all to see.