The Australian front cover on 26 July 2017
|Format||Broadsheet, Online, App|
|Owner(s)||News Corp Australia|
|Founded||14 July 1964|
|Headquarters||2 Holt street, Surry Hills, New South Wales, Australia|
The Australian is a broadsheet newspaper published in Australia from Monday to Saturday each week since 14 July 1964. Available nationally (in each state and territory), The Australian is the biggest selling nationally distributed newspaper in Australia, with its chief rivals being the other nationally distributed newspapers like the business-focused Australian Financial Review and The Saturday Paper. The Australian is owned by News Corp Australia.
The Australian is published by News Corp Australia, an asset of News Corp, which also owns the sole daily newspapers in Brisbane, Adelaide, Hobart and Darwin, and the most circulated metropolitan daily newspapers in Sydney and Melbourne. News Corp's Chairman and Founder is Rupert Murdoch.
The first edition of The Australian was published by Rupert Murdoch on 15 July 1964, becoming the third national newspaper in Australia following shipping newspaper Daily Commercial News (1891) and Australian Financial Review (1951). Unlike other original Murdoch newspapers, it is not a tabloid publication. At the time, a national paper was considered commercially unfeasible, as newspapers mostly relied on local advertising for their revenue. The Australian was printed in Canberra, then plates flown to other cities for copying. From its inception the paper struggled for financial viability and ran at a loss for several decades.
The Australian's first editor was Maxwell Newton, before leaving the newspaper within a year, and was succeeded by Walter Kommer, and then by Adrian Deamer. Under his editorship The Australian encouraged female journalists, and was the first mainstream daily newspaper to hire an Aboriginal reporter, John Newfong.
In October 2011, The Australian announced that it was planning to become the first general newspaper in Australia to introduce a paywall, with the introduction of a $2.95 per week charge for readers to view premium content on its website, mobile phone and tablet applications. The paywall was officially launched on 24 October, with a free 3 month trial.
In September 2017, The Australian launched their Chinese website.
Daily sections include National News (The Nation) followed by Worldwide News (Worldwide), Sport and Business News (Business). Contained within each issue is a prominent op/ed section, including regular columnists and non-regular contributors. Other regular sections include Technology (AustralianIT), Media (edited by Darren Davidson since 2015), Features, Legal Affairs, Aviation, Defence, Horse-Racing (Thoroughbreds), The Arts, Health, Wealth and Higher Education. A Travel & Indulgence section is included on Saturdays, along with The Inquirer, an in-depth analysis of major stories of the week, alongside much political commentary. Saturday lift-outs include Review, focusing on books, arts, film and television, and The Weekend Australian Magazine, the only national weekly glossy insert magazine. A glossy magazine, Wish, is published on the first Friday of the month.
"The Australian has long maintained a focus on issues relating to Aboriginal disadvantage."[context?] It also devotes attention to the information technology, Defence and mining industries, as well as the science, economics, and politics of climate change. It has also published numerous "special reports" into Australian energy policy.
Former editor Paul Kelly stated in 1991 that "The Australian has established itself in the marketplace as a newspaper that strongly supports economic libertarianism". Laurie Clancy asserted in 2004 that the newspaper "is generally conservative in tone and heavily oriented toward business; it has a range of columnists of varying political persuasions but mostly to the right." Former editor-in-chief Chris Mitchell has said that the editorial and op-ed pages of the newspaper are centre-right, "comfortable with a mainstream Labor prime minister Kevin Rudd, just as it was quite comfortable with John Howard."[when?] In 2007 Crikey stated that "it has been in sympathy with the agenda of federal governments of both colours", and hence had "provided both turf and fuel for the culture warriors of the Right" during the Howard years.
The Australian presents varying views on climate change, including giving space to articles and authors who agree with the scientific consensus, such as Tim Flannery, those who agree with the cause but who disagree with the methods of coping with it, such as Bjørn Lomborg, through to those who disagree that the causes or even presence of global warming are understood, such as Ian Plimer. A 2011 study of the previous seven years of articles claimed that four out of every five articles were opposed to taking action on climate change.
In 2010, the ABC's Media Watch presenter Paul Barry accused The Australian of waging a campaign against the Australian Greens, and the Greens' federal leader Bob Brown wrote that The Australian has "stepped out of the fourth estate by seeing itself as a determinant of democracy in Australia." In response, The Australian opined that "Greens leader Bob Brown has accused The Australian of trying to wreck the alliance between the Greens and Labor. We wear Senator Brown's criticism with pride. We believe he and his Green colleagues are hypocrites; that they are bad for the nation; and that they should be destroyed at the ballot box."
The Australian has been criticised by some other media publications for promoting a right wing agenda, and encouraging the growing political polarisation between left and right in Australia.
In 2005, Senior journalist at The Australian Caroline Overington broke a story about how the Australian Wheat Board funnelled hundreds of millions of dollars to Saddam Hussein's regime on the eve of the Iraq War. This story became known as the AWB oil-for-wheat scandal, and resulted in a commission of inquiry into the matter.
From 17 May 2018 The Australian has been running a podcast series named The Teacher's Pet, an investigation into the 1982 disappearance of Lynette Dawson. The series has had 28 million downloads, was the number one Australian podcast and reached number one in the UK, Canada and New Zealand. The Teacher's Pet is investigated and written by Hedley Thomas.
Regular columnists include Janet Albrechtsen, Troy Bramston, Paul Kelly, Chris Kenny, Brendan O'Neill, Nicolas Rothwell, Imre Salusinszky, Niki Savva, Angela Shanahan, Dennis Shanahan, Greg Sheridan, Judith Sloan, Emma Jane, Peter van Onselen, Graham Richardson and Phillip Adams. It also features daily cartoons from Peter Nicholson.
Occasional contributors include Gregory Melleuish, Kevin Donnelly, Caroline Overington, Tom Switzer, James Allan, Hal G.P. Colebatch, Luke Slattery, Noel Pearson, Bettina Arndt, Julia Gillard, Kevin Rudd, Tony Abbott and Lucian Boz.
Former columnists include Mike Steketee, David Burchell, Michael Stutchbury, Simon Adamek, George Megalogenis, Glenn Milne, Cordelia Fine,Alan Wood, Michael Costa, P. P. McGuinness, Michael Costello, Frank Devine, Matt Price and Christopher Pearson. Former cartoonists include Bill Leak.
In 1971, The Australian instituted their own "Australian of the Year award" separate from and often different to the Australian of the Year chosen by the government's National Australia Day Council. Starting in 1968, the official award had long had links to the Victorian Australia Day Council, and at the time there was a public perception it was state based. As a national newspaper, The Australian felt they were better situated to create an award that more truly represented all of Australia. Nominees are suggested by readers, decided upon by an editorial board, and awarded in January of every year.
As of March 2015, the weekday edition circulation was 104,165 and the weekend edition was 230,182, falling 6.5 per cent and 3.3 per cent respectively compared to the same period in 2014. The Australian had 67,561 paid digital subscribers in the same period.
In the June quarter of 2013, the average print circulation for The Australian on weekdays was 116,655 and 254,891 for The Weekend Australian. Both were down (9.8 and 10.8 %) compared to the June quarter the previous year.
According to third-party web analytics providers Alexa and SimilarWeb, The Australian's website, theaustralian.com.au, is the 72nd and 223rd most visited website in Australia respectively, as of August 2015. SimilarWeb rates the site as the 23rd most visited news website in Australia, attracting almost 3 million visitors per month.
According to Roy Morgan Research, in September 2018 The Australian was the most popular national daily paper, with a readership of 303,000 although this is exceeded by state based newspapers in New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland.
In November 2006, The Australian journalist Caroline Overington was awarded both the Sir Keith Murdoch Award for Journalism and a Walkley award for investigative journalism over her coverage of the AWB Oil-for-Wheat Scandal for the paper. The following year, Hedley Thomas won the Gold Walkley Award for his coverage of the Haneef case.
Also in 2007, the newspaper's website won the Pacific Area Newspaper Publishers' Association Online Newspaper of the Year award.