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The final issue of The Argus.
The final issue of The Argus.


The Argus was a morning daily newspaper in Melbournemarker established in 1846 and closed in 1957. Widely known as a conservative newspaper for most of its history, it adopted a left leaning approach from 1949 when it was acquired by the Londonmarker based Daily Mirror newspaper group. The main competitor over the life of the newspaper was David Syme's more liberal-minded The Age newspaper.

The newspaper was originally owned by William Kerr, a journalist who had worked with the Sydney Gazette before moving to Melbourne in 1839 to work on John Pascoe Fawkner's Port Phillip Patriot. The first edition was published on 2 June 1846.

The paper was known for its scurrilous abuse and sarcasm and by 1853 Kerr lost ownership through a series of libel suits and was published under the name of Edward Wilson. The paper was also to become a stablemate to the weekly The Australasian which was to become 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 was forced to close the venture in 1936.

In 1949 the paper was acquired by the Daily Mirror. The paper had interests in radio and in 1956, the new medium of television broadcasting, being part of the consortium General Telecasters Victoria (GTV), and the GTV-9marker television station. In 1957 the paper was sold to the Herald and Weekly Times group, under the management of Chief Executive Keith Murdoch, who utilised the printing presses, but closed the Argus and sold off the broadcasting interests. The last edition was on 19 January 1957.

November 15, 1952 The Melbourne Argus became the first newspaper in the world to publish colour photographs in a daily paper.

The Argus Building

The Argus building, constructed in 1926 on the corner of La Trobe and Elizabeth street, is classified by the National Trust and is on the Victorian Heritage Register of Heritage Victoria. In 1991, an innovative office building was built next door and named The Argus Centre, an award winning building by Nonda Katsalidis. In 2004 La Trobe Universitymarker bought the site of the old Argus building with the intention to redevelop and house legal and business schools in the building, as well as a ground floor shopping precinct.

See also



Further reading

  • Don Hauser, The Printers of the Streets and Lanes Of Melbourne (1837 - 1975) Nondescript Press, Melbourne 2006
  • Jim Usher (ed) The Argus - life and death of a newspaper Australian Scholarly Publishing, Melbourne 2008 (ISBN 1 74097 143 4)


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