The NewsMail is an online newspaper based in Bundaberg, Queensland, Australia.[3] It has a wide range of content including domestic and international affairs. The paper has a long, notable history, starting as a family business and more recently becoming part of the regional network of News Corp Australia, the largest Australian newspaper publisher. It shut down its printed edition and became online-only in June 2020.[4]

TypeOnline newspaper
Owner(s)News Corp Australia
EditorMegan Sheehan
HeadquartersBundaberg, Queensland, Australia
36-38 Woondooma St
Bundaberg QLD 4670
CirculationMonday - Friday: 6500[1]
Saturday: 9300[2]


Thomas White, the founder of NewsMail, first named the newspaper the Burnett Argus in 1861. In 1869, White moved publishing to Maryborough and changed the name to The Maryborough Mail. In 1872, the publisher moved and renamed the newspaper again to the Mount Perry Mail. Later on, The Mount Perry Mail moved to Bundaberg and became The Bundaberg Mail. Several newspapers were published weekly in Bundaberg between 1880 and 1900, but by the early 20th century two tri-weeklies divided the market: The Mail and its competitor The Star.

In 1907, The Bundaberg Mail became the city’s first daily newspaper. In 1917, Sidney H. Barton purchased the newspaper title, and its city freehold.[5] A merger was announced in July 1925, with the Bundaberg Mail and the Bundaberg News to become the Bundaberg Daily News and Mail from August onwards.[6] In 1942, the paper changed the name to the Bundaberg News-Mail and in the 2000s the hyphen was removed. In 1993, The NewsMail bought the Guardian, Bundy’s weekly community paper.[7][8]

During the Great Depression, the number of partners diminished, and the owners discussed options to merge with other newspapers with different financial specialists and investors. In 1958, Muriel Cooper Barton, in partnership with her daughter Betty Young and Betty’s husband Colin Young, approached A. Dunn and Co, owners of the Maryborough Chronicle, Toowoomba Chronicle, and Rockhampton’s Morning Bulletin, offering to sell them her 51.6 percent stake in the NewsMail. In 1961, the NewsMail was acquired by a partnership of eight provincial dailies. After the takeover of the daily Cairns Post by Queensland Press Ltd (publishers of the Brisbane Courier-Mail) in 1965, the eight other Queensland newspapers set up a holding company, Provincial Investments Pty Ltd (later Provincial Newspapers and eventually APN).[9] This holding company included notable families such as the Dunns (Maryborough, Toowoomba, and Rockhampton), Mannings (Mackay), Irwins (Warwick) and the Stephensons, Parkinsons, and Kippens (Ipswich). Rockhampton was selected to be the company’s head office, and Lex Dunn, a lawyer who advised on the company structure, became the chief executive.[10]

On July 27, 1970, NewsMail was first newspaper in Queensland and the second in Australia to publish computerised photoset design and digitally offset printing. In 1970, NewsMail’s headquarters moved to Brisbane, in an office building on the corner of Queen and Albert streets. NewsMail transferred its Bundaberg office from Targo St, where it had been for 70 years, to new premises in Woondooma St.

In 2013, the worst flood in Bundaberg's history immersed the NewsMail office causing major damage and disruption. All of NewsMail chronicles including photos and other important material were pulverized (Turnbull, 2020). Even so NewsMail's staff continued to gather news in the region, recording the dramatic scenes in North Bundaberg where the flood caused the breakdown of a part of the Tallon Bridge.[8]

In 2016, News Corp bought Queensland’s regional newspaper businesses from Here, There & Everywhere (formerly known as APN News and Media). NewsMail remains a branch of News Corp.[8]

In 2019, NewsMail moved from 405mm tabloid to 350mm tabloid format. The printed newspaper was published Monday to Saturday until 25 June 2020.[3]

As well as serving Bundaberg, the NewsMail was available in coastal communities including Bargara, Elliott Heads, Moore Park, Burnett Heads and the Bundaberg Port. It also reached the surrounding rural communities of Miriam Vale and Agnes Water in the north, Mundubbera, Gayndah, Eidsvold to the west, and Childers and Biggenden.[10]

Title history

Approximate Dates issue numbering ISSN Titling
1862–1869 Burnett Argus: Gayndah and Central Queensland Advertiser
1869–1870 Maryborough Mail
1872–1875 Mount Perry Mail and Mining Times, Burnett, Wide Bay and Bundaberg Advertiser

Title varies: 25th Jan.-18 July 1872, The Mount Perry Mail, Burnett, Wide Bay and Bundaberg Advertiser.

1876–1892 No. 203 - No. 1970 Bundaberg and Mount Perry Mail and General Advertiser
12 December 1892 – 1917 No. 1971 - 2205-1643 (print)

2205-1651 (online)

Bundaberg Mail and Burnett Advertiser
1917–1925 Vol. 47, no. 6374 - 2205-166X (print)

2205-1678 (online)

Bundaberg Mail
1925–1940 2205-782X Bundaberg Daily News and Mail

Merged with: Bundaberg Daily News, to form Bundaberg Daily News and Mail.

8 July 1940 – 14 November 1942 Vol. 33, no. 167 - Vol. 35, no. 272 2205-9059 Bundaberg Daily News-Mail
1942–1961 Bundaberg News-Mail
1961– 27 June 2020 News-Mail (Bundaberg, Qld.)
June 2020– NewsMail. News Corp cancels print publication of several regional newspapers and makes them online only.


NewsMail covers a wide range of events including local, national, and international news. Their main headlines are sport, lifestyle, community, jobs, motoring, real estates, obituaries, and classifieds. NewsMail is community-focused, delivering the daily latest news to the local communities including coastal and rural Queensland. NewsMail has established a reputation to meet the community’s demand and reflect their lifestyle.[7]

Queensland's public sector information policy reform process states that journalists are the link to channel policy information to citizens, which means NewsMail not only report on issues but also they get to participate in policy development first hand, and whether this experience is good or bad it becomes a story in its own right. Regional and small publishers like NewsMail have limited resources to cover policy issues.[11]


Printed newspaper

The printed newspaper version was first published in 1938 under the name News-Mail, as a daily newspaper from Monday to Saturday every week. According to NewsMail, 40% of Bundaberg residents subscribed to daily newspapers from Monday to Friday, and on Saturday 5% more.

In 2015, NewsMail copy sales ranked 9th of all the nation’s daily newspapers, averaging 8461 copies a day. Average NewsMail readership approached 36 000 on weekdays and 38 000 on Saturdays, including print, digital and connected devices.[12]

In April 2020, News Corp announced that it would suspend many of its rural newspapers as the outbreak of COVID-19 caused economic conditions and advertisement revenue to deteriorate rapidly. The company announced that it would cease printing activities at most of its locations until the end of June 2020, but would continue to publish its 14 daily newspapers. NewsMail followed other Queensland’s newspapers such as Mackay’s Daily Mercury, Gladstone’s Observer, Queensland Times, Sunshine Coast Daily, Rockhampton’s Morning Bulletin, Chinchilla News, Dalby Herald, Gatton Star, Noosa News, South Burnett Times, Stanthorpe Border Post, Western Star, Western Times, Whitsunday Times, Whitsunday Coast Guardian and Bowen Independent to become digital-only newspapers (Meade, 2020).[4] The last issue of print newspaper was printed on Saturday, June 25, 2020.

Digital newspaper

NewsMail introduced the digital newspaper with immediate access to daily content with a distinct focus on local current affairs and relevant news from national to international matters. The digital is described as an interactive, inclusive, user-friendly online town center for all the Queensland and northern New South Wales particularly and Australian citizens in general.[13]

News app

In approximately 2019, NewsMail created its own namesake local news app for tablets and mobile phones for readers to follow topics and receive news notifications.[14] In April 2021, the app was discontinued as it was outdated. Readers were instead encouraged to download The Courier Mail app for coverage of Queensland news.[15]


In 1980, News-Mail's Frank Davis received a Walkley Award for Best Story in a Provincial Newspaper.[10]

In 2000, NewsMail staff won the Walkley Award for Coverage of Suburban or Regional Affairs for their Childers backpacker fire article. During the time of the biggest news story in the history of the city, Rod Rehbein was editor of the magazine.[10]


In 1925, director-editor Steve Walker died.[16] Sidney Barton became the proprietor and editor of Bundaberg News & Mail until his death in 1931.[10]

Muriel Hooper Barton was appointed as the Daily News & Mail’s director and office manager; Jack Cecil Brady was managing director.[10]

In 1965, NewsMail director Carl Nielson wrote a letter to Mr. Manning called for action to prevent a takeover by Queensland Press Pty Ltd (publishers of the Brisbane Courier-Mail). Several family firms including NewsMail remained as part of Australian Provincial Newspapers Ltd.[10]

In 1992, Malcolm Smith replaced Roy Theodore to become general manager.[10]

In 2007, Wayne Tomkins replaced Russell Lister and became general manager.[10]

In 2011, Angus Irwin was appointed general manager.[10]

Till 2020, Megan Sheehan was appointed Editor of NewsMail and Ingrid Barham appointed Chief Executive Officer.[10]

See also


  1. "Average Print Sales – Monday - Friday". AMAA.
  2. "Average Print Sales – Saturday". AMAA.
  3. Johns, Bryce (22 June 2016). "What News Corp purchasing us means for you". Archived from the original on 28 August 2018.
  4. Meade, Amanda (27 May 2020). "News Corp announces end of more than 100 Australian print newspapers in huge shift to digital". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  5. "A BUNDABERG ANNOUNCEMENT". Toowoomba Chronicle. 1 May 1922. p. 4. Retrieved 27 November 2022.
  6. "Newspaper merger". The Week (Brisbane). 24 July 1925. p. 4. Retrieved 23 October 2022.
  7. About us, NewsMail. Accessed March 5, 2009.
  8. "When floods overwhelmed our city, we were there". News Mail. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  9. Kirkpatrick, Rod. "Provincial Newspapers (Qld) Ltd". AustLII. AustLII. Retrieved 9 April 2022.
  10. Fielding, Jay (9 June 2020). "TIMELINE: NewsMail turns new page in its long history". News Mail. Retrieved 19 November 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  11. Breit, Rhonda; Fitzgerald, Richard; Liu, Shuang; Neal, Regan (1 February 2017). "How Queensland newspapers reported public sector information reform". Media International Australia. 162 (1): 90–106. doi:10.1177/1329878X16680655. ISSN 1329-878X.
  12. "NewsMail keeping up with the best". Daily Mercury. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  13. Chapman, William (July 2020). "Newspaper Publishing in Australia". Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  14. "News Mail Tablet and Mobile App". Archived from the original on 27 November 2020. Retrieved 28 November 2022.
  15. Sheehan, Megan (22 April 2021). "Learn more about the changes to your NewsMail app experience and how to get the most from your subscription". NewsMail.
  16. "Death of Mr. S. D. Walker". Bundaberg Mail. 9 April 1925. p. 3. Retrieved 22 October 2022.
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