The Australian

This article is about the newspaper currently published by News Corp Australia. For the newspaper founded in 1824, see The Australian (1824 newspaper).
For other uses, see The Australian (disambiguation).

Type Daily newspaper
Format Broadsheet, Online, App
Owner(s) News Corp Australia
Editor Clive Mathieson
Editor-in-chief Chris Mitchell
Founded 14 July 1964 (1964-07-14)
Political alignment Centre-right
Headquarters Surry Hills, New South Wales, Australia
ISSN 1038-8761

The Australian is a broadsheet newspaper published in Australia from Monday to Saturday each week since 14 July 1964. The editor in chief is Chris Mitchell, the editor is Clive Mathieson and the editor-at-large is Paul Kelly. Available nationally (in each state and territory), The Australian is the biggest-selling national newspaper in the country, with a circulation of 116,655 on weekdays and 254,891 on weekends, figures substantially below those of top-selling papers in Sydney (The Daily Telegraph), Melbourne (The Herald Sun), and Brisbane (The Courier-Mail).[1] Its chief rival is the business-focused Australian Financial Review.

In May 2010, the newspaper launched the first Australian newspaper iPad app.[2]

The Australian is owned by News Corporation Australia. Recent years have seen significant decreases in circulation.

Parent companies

The Australian is published by News Corp Australia, an asset of News Corp, which also owns the sole dailies in Brisbane, Adelaide, Hobart and Darwin and the most popular metropolitan dailies in Sydney and Melbourne.[3] News Corp's Chairman and Founder is Rupert Murdoch.

The Australian integrates content from overseas newspapers owned by News Corp Australia's parent, News Corp, including The Wall Street Journal and The Times of London.[3]


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)[4] and Australian Financial Review (1951). Unlike other Murdoch newspapers, it was neither a tabloid nor an acquired publication.[5] From its inception The Australian struggled for financial viability and ran at a loss for several decades.[5]

The Australian's first editor was Maxwell Newton, though he would leave the paper within a year[6] and was succeeded by Walter Kommer, and then by Adrian Deamer. During the 1975 election, campaigning against the Whitlam government by its owner led to the paper's journalists striking over editorial direction.[6]


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, 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."[3] It also devotes attention to the information technology, Defence and mining industries,[3] as well as the science, economics, and politics of climate change. It has also published numerous "special reports" into Australian energy policy.

The Australian Literary Review was a monthly supplement from September 2006 October 2011.

Payment for online content

In October 2011 News Ltd announced that it was planning to become the first general newspaper in Australia to introduce a paywall. It charges readers $4.00 per week to view premium content on its website and mobile phone and tablet applications.[7]

Editorial and opinion pages

Editor-in-chief Chris Mitchell has said that the editorial and op-ed pages of the newspaper are centre-right,[8] "comfortable with a mainstream Labor prime minister Kevin Rudd, just as it was quite comfortable with John Howard."[3] According to other commentators, however, 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."[9] Its former editor Paul Kelly has stated that "The Australian has established itself in the marketplace as a newspaper that strongly supports economic libertarianism".[10]

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,[11] through to those who disagree that the causes or even presence of global warming are understood, such as Ian Plimer.

In September 2010, the ABC's Media Watch presenter Paul Barry, accused The Australian of waging a campaign against the Australian Greens, and the Green's 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."[12]

Columnists and contributors

Regular columnists include Dennis Shanahan, Peter van Onselen, Paul Kelly, Greg Sheridan, Nicolas Rothwell, Janet Albrechtsen, Imre Salusinszky, Chris Kenny, Troy Bramston, Nikki Savva, Judith Sloan, Emma Tom and Angela Shanahan. It also features daily cartoons from Bill Leak and Peter Nicholson.

Occasional contributors include Gregory Melleuish, Kevin Donnelly, Tom Switzer, James Allan, Hal G.P. Colebatch, Luke Slattery, and Noel Pearson.

Former columnists include Phillip Adams, Mike Steketee, David Burchell, Michael Stutchbury, Simon Adamek, Glenn Milne, Cordelia Fine,[13] Alan Wood, Michael Costa, P. P. McGuinness, Michael Costello, Frank Devine, Matt Price and Christopher Pearson.

The Australian‍ '​s "Australian of the Year"

In January of every year, The Australian announces its choice for "Australian of the Year". In 2011, the newspaper announced that Treasury Secretary Ken Henry was its winner of the award for 2010.[14] Previous winners include Kevin Rudd (2009),[15] Stephen Keim (2008),[16] Bob Brown (1983)[17] and Gough Whitlam (1972).[15][18]


The average print circulation for The Australian on weekdays was 116,655 during the June quarter 2013, having fallen 9.8 per cent compared to the June quarter 2012. The average print circulation for The Weekend Australian was 254,891 during the June quarter 2013, down 10.8 per cent compared to the June quarter the previous year.[1]

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 peiod.[19]


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.[20] 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.[21]

See also


  1. ^ a b Knott, Matthew (16 August 2013). "Newspaper circulation results shocker: the contagion edition". Crikey (Private Media). Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  2. ^ Omar Dabbagh (17 May 2010). "The Australian launches iPad newspaper app". PC World (IDG Communications). Retrieved 3 April 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Manning, James (10 March 2008). "National daily plans new business website and monthly colour magazine". MediaWeek (Sydney, Australia) (854): 3, 7, 8. 
  4. ^ Daily commercial news and shipping list, National Library of Australia Trove 
  5. ^ a b Cryle, Denis (2008). Murdoch's flagship (PDF). Melbourne University Press. ISBN 978-0-522-85675-0. 
  6. ^ a b Tiffen, Rodney. "The Australian at forty-five". Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  7. ^ "Australian to charge $2.95 a week for all online content. It is also charging $1 for the first 28 days then increasing to the $2.95 per week from the end of the first month.". The Age (Melbourne). 18 October 2011. 
  8. ^ Mitchell, Chris (9 March 2006). The Media Report. Australian Broadcasting Company.
  9. ^ Clancy, Laurie (2004). Culture and customs of Australia. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 126. ISBN 978-0-313-32169-6. 
  10. ^ "Do not disturb: is the media failing Australia?" P60 By Robert Manne
  11. ^ Jowit, Juliette (30 August 2010). "Bjørn Lomborg: $100bn a year needed to fight climate change". The Guardian (London). 
  12. ^ Barry, Paul. "Gunning for The Greens". Media Watch. Retrieved 20 March 2013. 
  13. ^ "Cordelia Fine". Cordelia Fine. 2011-07-31. Retrieved 2013-12-27. 
  14. ^ Ken Henry: the thinking country's bureaucrat The Australian
  15. ^ a b Why is Kevin Rudd Australian of the Year? Crikey
  16. ^ Hedley Thomas. (15 December 2007). The odd couple. The Australian.
  17. ^ "ABC TV - My Favourite Australian - Bob Brown". Retrieved 2013-12-27. 
  18. ^ The Australian's "Australian of the Year" page
  19. ^ Davidson, Darren (May 15, 2015). "Newspaper circulation declines moderating as digital sales soar". The Australian. Retrieved May 18, 2015. (subscription required (help)). 
  20. ^ Kickback: Inside the Australian Wheat Board scandal. Allen & Unwin.
  21. ^ Elks, Sarah (9 August 2007). The Australian wins online newspaper award.

External links