With a history dating back to 1830, the Journal-Courier is the "oldest continuously published newspaper in Illinois". The Jacksonville Courier merged with The Jacksonville Daily Journal to form the Jacksonville Journal-Courier on July 11, 1983.
The Journal-Courier is owned by Civitas Media, which additionally owns the Illinois newspaper The Telegraph, in nearby Alton, Illinois. These newspapers, along with The Lima News in Ohio and The Sedalia Democrat in Sedalia, Missouri, constituted the Central Division of Freedom Communications before being sold to Ohio Community Media in May 2012. Freedom acquired the paper from Thomson in 1995.