Writer and printer
Joseph Cowen junior wrote frequently for the public press, and was a contributor to the Newcastle Chronicle from a young age. He was involved with a number of radical publishing projects including the Democratic Review and the Red Republican, to which he provided financial support. In 1854, Cowen launched a republican journal, the Northern Tribune, which featured the writings of a number of prominent radicals. The first issue was reported to have sold 4,000 copies, and in 1855 Cowen would sell it to contributor and fellow radical publisher George Holyoake.
The Newcastle Chronicle
Cowen purchased the Newcastle Chronicle in 1859. He had influenced the editorial content of the paper for a number of years through providing financial support. After he acquired editorial control of the paper, he often used it as a vehicle to promote his own political activities, including his involvement in the co-operative movement. Through the Chronicle, Cowen was able to acquire a significant public influence - the paper enabled him to have a platform for his politics and a daily presence in his viewers' lives.