Media mogul Rupert Murdoch has announced the closure of News Corp Australia’s Brisbane daily newspaper The Courier-Mail in the wake of its embarrassing failure to help elect a Liberal National Party government at the weekend’s Queensland election.
In a statement issued in New York, the American head of News Corp Australia said he had no alternative but to close the newspaper after 87 years of publication.
“As we did with the News of the World in London a few years back, it is best to close the paper following such a major public catastrophe on its part,” Mr Murdoch said.
“I set high standards for my newspapers, and the Courier’s failure to elect an LNP government at the weekend’s Queensland state election despite consistently and overtly campaigning for the party in its editorial pages is not acceptable to me.
“Given that we did the same thing for the LNP in the past few Queensland polls, I have concluded that the blatant pro-LNP position adopted by the paper may have actually assisted Labor back into office.
“I have therefore decided that the best decision is to shut the paper immediately before this mistake can be repeated in 2024 and before any further damage can be done to the people we serve – the LNP,” he said.
News of the closure was broken to the paper’s remaining reader in today’s final edition through a front-page editorial by editor Chris Jones which doubled as a full public apology to the LNP. (main picture)
“We are so sorry to everyone in the LNP for our abject failure to have your party elected last Saturday,” Mr Jones wrote.
“I can honestly say we did our best – making our newspaper resemble a 64-page LNP how-to-vote card for the duration of the campaign and well before.
“Each day of the campaign those of us at what many lovingly and proudly refer to as ‘the Bowen Hills branch of the LNP’ wrote and published stories and commentary saying Deb Frecklington was a far better leader and would be a far better Premier of Queensland than Annastacia Palaszczuk.
“We went out of our way to run big stories about mediocre LNP election policies and we pilloried the Labor Party’s policies and record in office.
“We regularly devoted our front page to a story about the Premier or her government, but only if they were negative stories.
“We even defied logic by saying Deb had won the leaders’ debate against the Premier; we were that determined to see the LNP take office.
“Yet that didn’t translate into an LNP win last Saturday and for that we are truly sorry and we take this opportunity in our very last edition to apologise to everyone in the LNP,” Mr Jones said.