The Sydney Morning Herald
The Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) is a daily compact newspaper published in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, and owned by Nine. Founded in 1831 as the Sydney Herald, the SMH is the oldest continuously published newspaper in Australia and has become a national online-news brand. The print version of the newspaper is published six days a week.
The front page of The Sydney Morning Herald (9 May 2016), occupied with a report on the start of the 2016 federal election campaign
|Owner(s)||Nine Entertainment Co.|
|Founder(s)||Ward Stephens, Frederick Stokes and William McGarvie|
|Founded||18 April 1831 (as Sydney Herald)|
|Headquarters||1 Darling Island Road, Pyrmont, New South Wales|
|Circulation||104,000 (February 2016)|
The Sydney Morning Herald includes a variety of supplements, including the magazines Good Weekend (which is included in the Saturday edition of The Sydney Morning Herald); and Sunday Life. There are a variety of lift-outs, some of them co-branded with online classified advertising sites:
- The Guide (television) on Monday
- Good Food (food) and Domain (real estate) on Tuesday
- Money (personal finance) on Wednesday
- Drive (motor), Shortlist (entertainment) on Friday
- News Review, Spectrum (arts and entertainment guide), Domain (real estate), Drive (motoring) and MyCareer (employment) on Saturday
As of February 2016, average week-day print circulation of the paper was 104,000. The editor is Lisa Davies. Former editors include Darren Goodsir, Judith Whelan, Sean Aylmer, Peter Fray, Meryl Constance, Amanda Wilson (the first female editor, appointed in 2011), William Curnow, Andrew Garran, Frederick William Ward, Charles Brunsdon Fletcher, Colin Bingham, Max Prisk, John Alexander, Paul McGeough, Alan Revell and Alan Oakley.
Circulation and readership
The February 2016 average circulation of the paper was 104,000. In December 2013, the Audit Bureau of Circulations's audit on newspaper circulation states a monthly average of 132,000 copies were sold, Monday to Friday, and 228,000 copies on Saturday, both having declined 16% in 12 months.
According to Roy Morgan Research Readership Surveys, in the twelve months to March 2011, the paper was read 766,000 times on Monday to Friday, and read 1,014,000 times on Saturdays.
The newspaper's website smh.com.au was rated by third-party web analytics providers Alexa and SimilarWeb as the 17th and 32nd most visited website in Australia respectively, as of July 2015. SimilarWeb rates the site as the fifth most visited news website in Australia and as the 42nd newspaper's website globally, attracting more than 15 million visitors per month.
In 1831 three employees of the now-defunct Sydney Gazette, Ward Stephens, Frederick Stokes and William McGarvie, founded The Sydney Herald. In 1931 a Centenary Supplement (since digitised) was published. The original four-page weekly had a print run of 750. In 1840, the newspaper began to publish daily. In 1841, an Englishman named John Fairfax purchased the operation, renaming it The Sydney Morning Herald the following year. Fairfax, whose family were to control the newspaper for almost 150 years, based his editorial policies "upon principles of candour, honesty and honour. We have no wish to mislead; no interest to gratify by unsparing abuse or indiscriminate approbation."
The SMH was late to the trend of printing news rather than just advertising on the front page, doing so from 15 April 1944. Of the country's metropolitan dailies, only The West Australian was later in making the switch. In 1949, the newspaper launched a Sunday edition, The Sunday Herald. Four years later, this was merged with the newly acquired Sun newspaper to create The Sun-Herald, which continues to this day.
In 1995, the company launched the newspaper's web edition smh.com.au. The site has since grown to include interactive and multimedia features beyond the content in the print edition. Around the same time, the organisation moved from Jones Street to new offices at Darling Park and built a new printing press at Chullora, in the city's west. The SMH later moved with other Sydney Fairfax divisions to a building at Darling Island.
In May 2007, Fairfax Media announced it would be moving from a broadsheet format to the smaller compact or tabloid-size, in the footsteps of The Times, for both The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. Fairfax Media dumped these plans later in the year. However, in June 2012, Fairfax Media again announced it planned to shift both broadsheet newspapers to tabloid size, in March 2013. Fairfax also announced it would cut staff across the entire group by 1,900 over three years and erect paywalls around the papers' websites. The subscription type is to be a freemium model, limiting readers to a number of free stories per month, with a payment required for further access. The announcement was part of an overall "digital first" strategy of increasingly digital or on-line content over printed delivery, to "increase sharing of editorial content", and to assist the management's wish for "full integration of its online, print and mobile platforms".
On 22 February 2014, the final Saturday edition was produced in broadsheet format with this too converted to compact format on 1 March 2014, ahead of the decommissioning of the printing plant at Chullora in June 2014.
According to Irial Glynn, the newspaper's editorial stance is generally centrist. According to one commentator it is seen as the most centrist among the three major Australian non-tabloids (the other two being the Australian and the Age). In 2004, the newspaper's editorial page stated: "market libertarianism and social liberalism" were the two "broad themes" that guided the Herald's editorial stance. In other sources, the political coverage of the paper has been characterized as centre-left. During the 1999 referendum on whether Australia should become a republic, the Herald (like the other two major papers) strongly supported a "yes" vote.
The newspaper did not endorse the Labor Party for federal office in the first six decades of Federation, but did endorse the party in 1961, 1984, and 1987. During the 2004 Australian federal election, the Herald announced it would "no longer endorse one party or another at election time" but that this policy might yet be revised in the future: "A truly awful government of any colour, for example, would bring reappraisal."
The Herald subsequently endorsed the centre-right Coalition at the 2007 New South Wales state election, but endorsed centre-left Labor at the 2007 and 2010 federal elections, before endorsing the Coalition at the 2013 federal elections. The Herald endorsed Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in the run-up for the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Fairfax went public in 1957 and grew to acquire interests in magazines, radio and television. The group collapsed spectacularly on 11 December 1990 when Warwick Fairfax, great-great-grandson of John Fairfax, attempted to privatise the group by borrowing $1.8 billion. The group was bought by Conrad Black before being re-listed in 1992. In 2006, Fairfax announced a merger with Rural Press, which brought in a Fairfax family member, John B. Fairfax, as a significant player in the company. From 10 December 2018 Nine and Fairfax Media merged into one business known as Nine. Nine Entertainment Co. owns The Sydney Morning Herald.
Column 8 is a short column to which Herald readers send their observations of interesting happenings. It was first published on 11 January 1947. The name comes from the fact that it originally occupied the final (8th) column of the broadsheet newspaper's front page. In a front-page redesign in the lead-up to the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000, Column 8 moved to the back page of the first section from 31 July 2000.
The column is also sometimes affectionately known as Granny, after a fictional grandmother who supposedly edited it. The logo was a caricature of Sydney Deamer, originator of the column and its author for 14 years.
It was edited for 15 years by George Richards, who retired on 31 January 2004. Other editors besides Deamer and Richards have been Duncan Thompson, Bill Fitter, Col Allison, Jim Cunningham, Pat Sheil, and briefly, Peter Bowers and Lenore Nicklin. The column is, as of March 2017, edited by Tim Barlass.
The Opinion section is a regular of the daily newspaper, containing opinion on a wide range of issues. Mostly concerned with relevant political, legal and cultural issues, the section presents work by regular columnists, including Herald political editor Peter Hartcher, Ross Gittins and Elizabeth Farrelly, as well as occasional reader-submitted content. Iconoclastic Sydney barrister Charles C. Waterstreet, upon whose life the television workplace comedy Rake is loosely based, had a regular humour column in this section.
Good Weekend is a liftout magazine that is distributed with both The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age in Saturday editions.
It contains, on average, four feature articles written by its stable of writers and others syndicated from overseas as well as sections on food, wine and fashion.
Writers include Stephanie Wood, Jane Cadzow, Melissa Fyfe, Tim Elliott, Konrad Marshall and Amanda Hooton.
Other sections include "Modern Guru", which features humorous columnists including Danny Katz responding to the everyday dilemmas of readers; a regular column by writer Benjamin Law; a Samurai Sudoku; and "The Two Of Us", containing interviews with a pair of close friends, relatives or colleagues.
Good Weekend is edited by Amelia Lester. Previous editors include Ben Naparstek, Judith Whelan and Fenella Souter.
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- ABCs: The Age sees digital subscriptions slide as The Australian nearly doubles AFR print sales Archived 16 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine Mumrella 12 February 2016
- Dick, Tim (11 January 2011). "Herald appoints first woman editor in its 180-year history". The Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 2 December 2017. Retrieved 23 November 2017.
- John Langdon Bonython, Address of the President, Journal of the Royal Institution of Cornwall, Volume XXIV, Parts 1 and 2, 1933-34, p8.
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- "The Sydney Morning Herald Centenary Supplement 1831 - April 18th - 1931" (PDF). The Sydney Morning Herald. 1831. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 September 2016. Retrieved 20 April 2016.
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- New Zealand’s Donald Murray: The Father of the Remote Typewriter, Australian Typewriter Museum, Canberra, 9 March 2012; accessed 10 March 2012
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- Irial Glynn, Asylum Policy, Boat People and Political Discourse: Boats, Votes and Asylum in Australia and Italy (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), p. 10: "the generally centrist Sydney Morning Herald"
- Andrea L. Everett, Humanitarian Hypocrisy: Civilian Protection and the Design of Peace Operations (Cornell University Press, 2017), p. 253: "SMH ... is also generally seen as the most politically centrist of the three largest-circulation non-tabloid newspaper [in Australia]: SMH, the Australian, and the Age)."
- "Editorial: It's time for a vote of greater independence". The Sydney Morning Herald. 7 October 2004. Archived from the original on 19 October 2007. Retrieved 26 March 2007.
- Mark McKenna, "The Australian Republic: Still Captive After All These Years" in Constitutional Politics: The Republic Referendum and the Future (eds. John Warhurst & Malcolm Mackerras: (University of Queensland Press, 2002), p. 151.
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- Irial Glynn (2016). Asylum Policy, Boat People and Political Discourse: Boats, Votes and Asylum in Australia and Italy. Palgrave Macmillan UK. p. 2. ISBN 978-1-137-51733-3.
- "Editorial: Why NSW cannot afford four more years of Labor". The Sydney Morning Herald. 22 March 2007. Archived from the original on 9 January 2008. Retrieved 26 March 2007.
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- "Behind the lines. Year's best political cartoons". National Museum of Australia. 2009. Archived from the original on 27 September 2016. Retrieved 18 September 2016.
- "Behind the lines. Year's best political cartoons". National Museum of Australia. 2010. Archived from the original on 27 September 2016. Retrieved 18 September 2016.
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- "8.37 Changes in the Herald: Who will make me smile before breakfast?" (PDF). Australian Newspaper History Group Newsletter (8): 17–18. August 2000. Archived from the original (pdf (19 pages)) on 15 April 2012. Retrieved 15 January 2008.
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The Column 8 has a new editor, Pat Sheil, and he is changing the style of the 58-year-old Sydney Morning Herald column. "I am trying to make it a bit edgier than it was", he told MediaWeek (11 April 2005, p.6). "Basically, Column 8 should be like a chat, without making it too trite or stupid." George Richards edited Column 8 for fifteen and a half years before retiring early last year (see ANHG 26.19). James Cockington edited it until handing over to Sheil in February this year.
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- Gavin Souter (1981) Company of Heralds: a century and a half of Australian publishing by John Fairfax Limited and its predecessors, 1831-1981 Carlton, Victoria: Melbourne University Press, ISBN 0522842186
- Gavin Souter (1992) Heralds and angels: the house of Fairfax 1841-1992 Ringwood, Victoria: Penguin Books, ISBN 0140173307
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sydney Morning Herald.|
- Official website
- Earth Hour archive
- The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954) at Trove
- The Sydney Herald (NSW : 1831 - 1842) at Trove
- The Sun-Herald (Sydney, NSW : 1953 - 1954) at Trove