The Courier-Journal, locally called The Courier or The C-J, is the main newspaper for the city of Louisville, Kentucky, United States. According to the 1999 Editor & Publisher International Yearbook, the paper is the 48th-largest daily paper in the U. S. the Courier-Journal was created from the merger of several newspapers introduced in Kentucky in the 19th century. Pioneer paper The Focus of Politics, Commerce and Literature, was founded in 1826 in Louisville when the city was a settlement of less than 7,000 individuals. In 1830 a new newspaper, The Louisville Daily Journal, began distribution in the city and, in 1832, absorbed The Focus of Politics, Commerce and Literature. The Journal was an organ of the Whig Party, founded and edited by George D. Prentice, Prentice would edit the Journal for more than 40 years. In 1844, another newspaper, the Louisville Morning Courier was founded in Louisville by Walter Newman Haldeman, the Courier was suppressed by the Union and had to move to Nashville, but returned to Louisville after the war. In 1868, an ailing Prentice persuaded the 28-year-old Henry Watterson to come edit for the Journal, during secret negotiations in 1868, The Journal and the Courier merged and the first edition of The Courier-Journal was delivered to Louisvillians on Sunday morning, November 8,1868. Henry Watterson, the son of a Tennessee congressman, had written for Harpers Magazine and he became nationally known for his work as The Courier-Journal emerged as the regions leading paper. He supported the Democratic Party and pushed for the industrialization of Kentucky and he attracted controversy for attempting to prove that Christopher Marlowe had actually written the works of Shakespeare. He won a Pulitzer Prize in 1917 for editorials demanding the United States enter World War I, the Courier-Journal founded a companion afternoon edition of the paper, The Louisville Times, in May 1884. In 1896, Watterson and Haldeman opposed Democratic presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan over his support of Free Silver coinage and this unpopular decision upset readers and advertisers, many of whom pulled their support for The Courier-Journal. Kentucky voted for the Republican candidate in 1896, the first time in state history, only the popularity of The Louisville Times, which had no strong editorial reputation, saved the newspaper company from bankruptcy. The Courier supported Bryan in future elections, Haldeman had owned the papers until his death in 1902, and by 1917 they were owned by his son, William, and Henry Watterson. On August 8,1918, Robert Worth Bingham purchased two-thirds interest in the newspapers, the liberal Bingham clashed with longtime editor Watterson, who remained on board, but was in the twilight of his career. Wattersons editorials opposing the League of Nations appeared alongside Binghams favoring it, I have always regarded the newspapers owned by me as a public trust and have endeavored so to conduct them as to render the greatest public service. As publisher, Bingham set the tone for his editorial pages, and pushed for improved education, support of African Americans. During Barry Bingham, Sr. s tenure, the paper was considered Kentuckys Newspaper of Record, in 1971, Barry Bingham, Jr. succeeded his father as the newspapers editor and publisher. The Binghams were well-liked owners popularly credited with being more concerned with publishing quality journalism than making heavy profits, Barry Bingham Jr. sought to free the papers from conflicts of interests, and through The Louisville Times, experimented with new ideas such as signed editorials
Image: The Courier Journal front page
Editorial staff of The Courier-Journal, 1868.
Courier-Journal offices in downtown Louisville, built during the Bingham era