Welcome to this unofficial and incomplete attempt at documenting the history of The Courier, Newcastle University’s student newspaper. I was involved with The Courier in various roles throughout my time at Newcastle University, from 2013 to 2016, and I’d like to try to tell the 68-year story of the paper as best I can. This is definitely a work in progress, and if you can have any information about The Courier‘s history or would like to share stories from your time with the paper, I’d love to hear from you.

As a member of the editorial team for two years, I got to spend quite a bit of time in the Courier office. There are paper copies of most issues since the late 50s in the office, so they were always fun to flick through, but the digitisation of the archive meant I could spend as much time as I wanted looking through The Courier’s entire 68-year history – the perfect way to console myself as I left the paper.

Combining my love for history with my love for The Courier, writing up a history was the next logical step. But there is so much to talk about from these archives – they don’t just show the changes to the paper itself, but also document the history of the Students’ Union, the University, Newcastle as a city and the experience of being a student – all of these things being told through the prism of student journalism, with all of the mistakes, biases and exaggerations that can bring.

Most of what is written on this site is based solely on what was published in The Courier, which raises certain issues. Given that members of the editorial team were often involved in the politics, events and scandals they were reporting on, the accuracy of these reports is clearly brought into question. Even when the letters page shows the views of The Courier’s opponents, as it often did, somebody on the editorial team made the decision to publish these.

The launch of this website coincides with The Courier’s 68th birthday, but sadly comes just weeks after the death of Monica Doughty, who, as permanent secretary of The Courier for 40 years, contributed more to the paper than anyone else. Monica was recently awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the University for her services to The Courier.

There are probably mistakes and misunderstandings in much of this website – if you can correct anything, or are able to corroborate or support things – please get in touch. I am genuinely interested to hear about people’s experiences of The Courier, and want to tell its story as accurately as possible.

The Paper page tells the story of The Courier from start to finish, while the Sections page gives more detail about the individual parts of the paper. There’s also a list of editors, a gallery of the paper’s mastheads, a collection of posts about the history of the Union and a blog about various aspects of The Courier‘s history.

The paper is still going, of course – you can see an online version here and digital copies of the print version here. And nearly every issue of the paper has been digitised and is available on the Courier archive website.

Mark Sleightholm
Courier news editor 2014-15
Courier deputy editor 2015-16

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