Calls for a second Brisbane newspaper

Rival newspaper groups should be challenging News Limited’s dominance of the fast growing Brisbane market, an independent publisher says.

Don Gordon-Brown, co-publisher of community paper The Independent, said a second daily paper to take on The Courier Mail in Brisbane would promote competition and diversity.

“Brisbane not only deserves but demands a second daily newspaper,” Mr Gordon-Brown said.

“We are in the fastest growing part of Australia. The Courier and Sunday Mails badly need competition, but the other major players are reluctant to come in, either because of the cost or the risk of having (Rupert) Murdoch retaliate in areas where they make their money.

“And the partially deregulated media market is probably not going to change that one iota.”

Queensland Premier Peter Beattie has previously called for Brisbane to have a second newspaper because “I think we need the competition”.

The Courier Mail’s editor David Fagan has said his paper, which in March switched from a broadsheet to tabloid format, would welcome a rival newspaper.

Mr Gordon-Brown called on publishers such as Fairfax and Australian Provincial Newspapers (APN) to enter the Brisbane market.

“So here’s a challenge to the moguls out there. And I guess the person I’d pitch this to the most is Tony O’Reilly of The Independent in the UK. He’s got the big presses around Brisbane. He’s got the staff and the expertise.”

Mr Gordon-Brown, who also publishes satirical monthly newspaper The Bug, was speaking at a graduation ceremony for Brisbane’s Jschool journalism college.

He was awarded an honorary doctorate by the college for services to independent journalism.

Director of Jschool Professor John Henningham said Mr Gordon-Brown had made a tremendous contribution to diversity of expression in Brisbane and to mentoring of young journalists.

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