The Argus (Melbourne)

Last updated

The Argus office at 76 Collins Street East, Melbourne, 1867 ArgusOfficeMelbourne.jpg
The Argus office at 76 Collins Street East, Melbourne, 1867
Final issue of The Argus The Argus' final issue.jpg
Final issue of The Argus
The Argus Building, opened in 1926 on La Trobe Street to the design of Godfrey & Spowers Argus building latrobe street melbourne.jpg
The Argus Building, opened in 1926 on La Trobe Street to the design of Godfrey & Spowers

The Argus was an Australian daily morning newspaper in Melbourne from 2 June 1846 to 19 January 1957, and was considered to be the general Australian newspaper of record for this period. [1] Widely known as a conservative newspaper for most of its history, it adopted a left-leaning approach from 1949. The Argus's main competitor was David Syme's more liberal-minded newspaper, The Age .



The newspaper was originally owned by William Kerr, who was also Melbourne's town clerk from 1851–1856 and had been a journalist at the Sydney Gazette before moving to Melbourne in 1839 to work on John Pascoe Fawkner's newspaper, the Port Phillip Patriot .

The first edition was published on 2 June 1846. The paper soon became known for its scurrilous abuse and sarcasm, and by 1853, after he had lost a series of libel lawsuits, Kerr was forced to sell the paper's ownership to avoid financial ruin. The paper was then published by Edward Wilson. [2] By 1855, it had a daily circulation of 13,000. [3]

In October 1881, an afternoon edition was launched, the Evening Mail , edited by Henry Short, but this was a failure, and ceased publication in August 1882. [4] In 1883, newspaper editor and owner Richard Twopeny (1857–1919) regarded The Argus as "the best daily paper published out of England". [5] The paper become a stablemate to the weekly The Australasian, which became the Australasian Post in 1946.

During the Depression, in 1933, it launched the Melbourne Evening Star in competition with The Herald newspaper of the Herald and Weekly Times Ltd, but ended the venture in 1936 due to poor circulation figures.

The company's newspaper operations experienced severe financial losses from 1939 onwards, which would continue through the 1940s and the 1950s due to economic turmoil, increased costs of newsprint, and cut-throat competition for newspaper circulation in Melbourne.

In June 1949, The Argus was acquired by the London-based Daily Mirror newspaper group and, on 28 July 1952, it became the first newspaper in the world to publish colour photographs in a daily paper. The paper also had interests in radio and, from 1956, the new medium of television, being part of the consortium General Telecasters Victoria (GTV) and its television station GTV-9 (now part of the Nine Network).

On 19 January 1957, after 110 years, seven months and 17 days, The Argus printed its final edition. The paper was discontinued and sold to the Herald and Weekly Times group (HWT), which undertook to re-employ Argus staff and continue publication of selected features, [6] and also made an allocation of shares to the UK owners. The company's other print and broadcasting operations were unaffected. [7]

Notable editors and writers

See also

Further reading

Related Research Articles

<i>Herald Sun</i> Australian daily tabloid newspaper

The Herald Sun is a conservative daily tabloid newspaper based in Melbourne, Australia, published by The Herald and Weekly Times, a subsidiary of News Corp Australia, itself a subsidiary of the Murdoch owned News Corp. The Herald Sun primarily serves Melbourne and the state of Victoria and shares many articles with other News Corporation daily newspapers, especially those from Australia.

<i>The Age</i> Melbourne daily newspaper

The Age is a daily newspaper in Melbourne, Australia, that has been published since 1854. Owned and published by Nine Entertainment, The Age primarily serves Victoria, but copies also sell in Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory and border regions of South Australia and southern New South Wales. It is delivered both in print and digital formats. The newspaper shares some articles with its sister newspaper The Sydney Morning Herald.

<i>The Courier-Mail</i> Daily tabloid newspaper in Brisbane, Australia

The Courier-Mail is an Australian newspaper published in Brisbane. Owned by News Corp Australia, 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. It is available for purchase throughout Queensland, most regions of Northern New South Wales and parts of the Northern Territory.

The Geelong Advertiser is a daily newspaper circulating in Geelong, Victoria, Australia, the Bellarine Peninsula, and surrounding areas. First published on 21 November 1840, the Geelong Advertiser is the oldest newspaper title in Victoria and the second-oldest in Australia. The newspaper is currently owned by News Corp. It was the Pacific Area Newspaper Publishers Association 2009 Newspaper of the Year.

The Sun News-Pictorial was a morning daily tabloid newspaper published in Melbourne, Victoria, from 1922 until its merger in 1990 with The Herald to form the Herald-Sun.

Colin Watson (footballer) Australian rules footballer, born 1900

Colin Campbell Watson was an Australian rules footballer in the Victorian Football League.

<i>Australasian Post</i>

The Australasian Post, commonly called the Aussie Post, was Australia's longest-running weekly picture magazine.

History of Australian rules football Aspect of history

Australian rules football began its evolution in Melbourne, Australia about 1858. The origins of Australian football before 1858 are still the subject of much debate, as there were a multitude of football games in Britain, Europe, Ireland and Australia whose rules influenced the early football games played in Melbourne.

<i>Melbourne Advertiser</i> First newspaper published in Melbourne, Australia

The Melbourne Advertiser was the first newspaper published in Melbourne, in what was then known as Port Phillip District, and now is Victoria, Australia. It was published by John Pascoe Fawkner, a co-founder of Melbourne. The first edition appeared on 1 January 1838 handwritten in ink by Fawkner himself and displayed at his hotel.

Frederick William Haddon

Frederick William Haddon, was an English-born Australian journalist and newspaper editor.

<i>South Australian Register</i> Newspaper in South Australia

The Register, originally the South Australian Gazette and Colonial Register, and later South Australian Register, was South Australia's first newspaper. It was first published in London in June 1836, moved to Adelaide in 1837, and folded into The Advertiser almost a century later in February 1931.

The Riverine Herald is a tri-weekly newspaper based in Echuca in Victoria's Goulburn Valley, servicing the Echuca-Moama area. The paper is owned by McPherson Media Group.

The Herald was a morning, and later, evening, broadsheet newspaper published in Melbourne, Australia from 3 January 1840 to 5 October 1990, when it merged with its sister morning newspaper The Sun News-Pictorial to form the Herald-Sun

Donald Alaster Macdonald

Donald Alaster Macdonald was an Australian journalist and nature writer, writing under the pen names including 'Observer' and 'Gnuyang' (gossip). He was considered one of Australia's widely known journalists, and is in the Melbourne Press Club's Australian Media Hall of Fame. He was credited with making 'Australian natural history and botany popular interests'.

<i>The Australasian Chronicle</i> Newspaper in Sydney, NSW, Australia, active 1839–1846

The Australasian Chronicle was a twice-weekly Catholic newspaper published in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. It was published in a broadsheet format. It was also published as The Morning Chronicle, The Chronicle and The Sydney Chronicle. It was the first Catholic newspaper published in Australia.

David Watterston was an Australian journalist and newspaper editor; he was editor of The Australasian from 1885 to 1903 and of The Argus 1903 to 1906.

The Sportsman (1881–1904?) was a weekly newspaper published in Melbourne, Australia, devoted to sporting news, predominantly racing, with football or cricket second, with columns on handball, shooting, boxing, cycling, wrestling, swimming, yachting and other masculine sports.

The Leader was a weekly newspaper in Melbourne, Victoria. It was a "companion weekly" to the daily newspaper The Age, and was edited by David Syme's brother George Syme.

Edith Amelia Kerr was an Australian teacher, headmistress and Presbyterian missionary.

Grace Ethel Martyr Australian poet, short story writer and journalist

Grace Ethel Martyr was an Australian poet, short story writer and journalist. She often wrote as Ethel Martyr.


  1. Hirst, John; Suter, Geraldine, eds. (2012). "Index to the Melbourne Argus newspaper (for the period 1870–1889)". La Trobe University. Retrieved 20 March 2015.
  2. Three original proprietors The Argus, 9 September 1926, at Trove
  3. Selby, Isaac (1924). The Old Pioneers’ Memorial History of Melbourne (First ed.). Melbourne: The Old Pioneers’ Memorial Fund. p. 192.
  4. "Epitaph". The Age . No. 8589. Victoria, Australia. 26 August 1882. p. 4. Retrieved 28 December 2021 via National Library of Australia.
  5. R. E. N. Twopeny, Town life in Australia, London, Eliot Stock, 1883, p. 222.
  6. Message to Argus readers from The Sun News-Pictorial The Argus, final edition, 19 January 1957 at Trove
  7. Your Last Argus The Argus, 19 January 1957, at Trove