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Regional daily marks 185 years in print on ‘Trusted News Day’

One of the UK’s longest-established regional morning titles has marked 185 years since it first went to print.

The Journal, formerly known as the Newcastle Journal, celebrated the milestone on Friday, coinciding with the ‘Trusted News Day’ initiative organised by the industry to help combat fake news .

Originally launched as a weekly in 1832, the paper went daily in 1861 beciming the Newcastle Daily Journal.

The anniversary was marked in Friday’s edition with a three-page piece by its culture editor David Whetstone, himself now in his fourth decade at the paper.

Journal 185

In the piece, David revealed The Journal had a daily circulation of 160,000 during the Second World War – during which time reporters working on the night shift wear fed on beans.

He wrote: “Food rationing came in but a ‘providential misreading’ of an order by a food supplier meant that instead of the 60 cases of tins of baked beans ordered to keep The Journal’s night shift fed, 60 gross (8,640) cases were delivered. The works manager was ‘stunned’ to see the convoy of delivery vans arriving and a management conference was hastily called.

“It was decided to accept the consignment. Tins of beans, reported Clough, were rammed into every unoccupied square foot of the building and into newsprint stores owned by the company outside the city. The Journal and its staff remained ‘full of beans’ for the duration.”

“Despite all the changes of ownership and advances in technology, the basic principles of gathering news – seeing, listening, asking questions – remain the same.

“When I joined The Journal the Falklands War had just ended, Maggie Thatcher was in her pomp, pits and shipyards still employed thousands and the second Great North Run was just weeks away. There was plenty of stuff to tell readers about.

“But I remember stumbling on a riveting report in a 1912 edition of The Journal – or whatever it was then called – which following the sinking of the Titanic. An executive of the White Star Line, which owned the liner, happened to be staying in a Newcastle hotel when the news broke. A reporter managed to buttonhole him, securing an interview and asking: ‘What went wrong?’

“That question has been asked many times since and will no doubt be asked many times again. It is what reporters do. The answers will continue to be published in The Journal as long as circumstances allow (and in any event, since we are now in the 21st Century, online at .

“And while you wouldn’t bet a tin of beans on the title lasting another 185 years, stranger things have happened.”


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  • May 15, 2017 at 11:33 am

    For several decades in the twentieth century the Journal used a foundation date of 1711, having incorporated the Newcastle Courant which started that year…

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  • May 15, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    I joined The Journal in 1964 as a cub reporter and worked for The Journal and it’s sister papers, The Chronicle and the Sunday Sun over the next 45 years before working my last day on January1, 2009.
    When I started, the three newspapers were written and printed in Kemsley House, a huge Victorian building which was demolished a couple of years later and replaced by Thomson House, the newspapers’ current base. My favourite memory of both places? That amazing smell of hot metal that filled them both.

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