Culture in today’s Courier includes 9 sections, 22 pages and about 30 members of the editorial team, making up well over half of the paper. But it has not always been this way – while the paper has always covered arts and culture, this was until recently a relatively minor part of the paper’s output.
In the early years “arts” – generally music, film and theatre – were all covered by the paper, although the size and format of the arts pages would vary from year to year. In 1963 a small “What’s On” listing column was introduced, which was renamed “The Week in Newcastle” in 1964. This was merged with the arts page in 1965, so that the listings included short reviews or previews. There were still occasional arts features, but the paper in the late 60s was more interested in news. This listings/arts page went by several different names and often featured elaborate illustrated headers:
1969-74 What’s On
1975-76 What’s On
1978, 1982-84 Razamataz
1984-87 Scene One and Scene Two
From 1984 a separate listings page was added, called Tyne Out, and the arts pages became more feature-led and with more creative layouts. By the late 80s the culture section was increasingly divided into a “classical arts” section and a music and film section, and in 1989 a completely separate music section was introduced.
In 1993 Arts, Music and the listings were moved into a four-page pullout section, which also saw frequent name changes:
1994-96 Centre Stage
1998-99 Tyne Out
In 1999 the culture sections were integrated back into the main paper, before being split off again in 2003 with the launch of a completely separate publication, Pulp, which was published weekly on A5 glossy paper. This was distributed alongside The Courier from 2004, before switching back to being a pullout of the main paper the following year. 2003 also saw the introduction of a dedicated film section, with Arts now narrowing its focus to books, theatre and visual arts. By this point travel, fashion and TV features were also becoming more common in the main paper.
Pulp went through several redesigns during its short history, but by 2009 was “the pull-out than no-one pulled out” and so became simply the Culture section of The Courier. Since then the number of culture pages increased steadily, and by 2014 what was once known simply as “arts” was split into nine different sections, each with three editors to oversee it:
Arts – 1948
Music – 1989 (previously part of Arts)
Film – 2003 (previously part of Arts)
Lifestyle – 2009
TV – 2009 (previously part of Arts)
Fashion – 2010 (previously part of Lifestyle)
Science – 2011
Beauty – 2012 (previously part of Lifestyle)
Gaming – 2014 (previously part of Science)
In 2017 a redesign of the paper saw the old “Life and Style” section separated out, consisting of Lifestyle, Fashion, Beauty and a resurrected Travel section. The Science section was also split off from culture, before being discontinued in 2018.