The Sydney Morning Herald

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The Sydney Morning Herald
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{{pp-move-indef}}{{more citations needed|date = January 2019}}{{Use dmy dates|date=March 2019}}{{Use Australian English|date=May 2013}}

| ISSN = 0312-6315| oclc = 226369741weblink}}}}The Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) is a daily compact newspaper in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia owned by Nine. Founded in 1831 as the Sydney Herald, the SMH is the oldest continuously published newspaper in Australia and a national online news brand.WEB, Lagan, Bernard, Breaking: News and hearts at the Herald,weblink Global Mail, Digital Global Mail Limited, 21 June 2012, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 23 June 2012, The print version of the newspaper is published six days a week.


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.ABCs: The Age sees digital subscriptions slide as The Australian nearly doubles AFR print sales {{Webarchive|url= |date=16 April 2016 }} Mumrella 12 February 2016 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),NEWS,weblink Herald appoints first woman editor in its 180-year history, Dick, Tim, 11 January 2011, The Sydney Morning Herald, 23 November 2017,weblink" title="">weblink 2 December 2017, no, dmy-all, William Curnow,John Langdon Bonython, Address of the President, Journal of the Royal Institution of Cornwall, Volume XXIV, Parts 1 and 2, 1933-34, p8. 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.WEB,weblink ABC Circulation Results-Feb 2014, February 2014, Audit Bureau of Circulations,weblink" title="">weblink 27 February 2014, yes, 25 February 2014, 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.WEB, Roy Morgan Readership estimates for Australia for the 12 months to March 2011, Roy Morgan Research,weblink 14 May 2011, 5 July 2011, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 4 August 2011, dmy-all, The newspaper's website 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.WEB,weblink Site Overview,, 30 July 2015,weblink" title="">weblink 5 March 2016, no, dmy-all, WEB,weblink Analytics,, 30 July 2015,weblink" title="">weblink 10 September 2015, no, dmy-all, 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.WEB,weblink Top 50 sites in Australia for News And Media, SimilarWeb, 30 July 2015, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 25 August 2015, dmy-all, WEB,weblink Top 50 sites in the world for News And Media > Newspapers,, 30 July 2015,weblink" title="">weblink 21 July 2015, no, dmy-all, It is available nationally except in the Northern Territory. Limited copies of the newspaper are also available at newsagents in New Zealand and at the High Commission of Australia, London.{{citation needed|date=February 2019}}


(File:First smh cover.jpg|thumb|The cover of the newspaper's first edition, on 18 April 1831)(File:Herald Office, Sydney (3003586345).jpg|thumb|Sydney Morning Herald building on the corner of Pitt and Hunter Streets, built 1856, demolished in the 1920s for a larger building)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.NEWS,weblink The Sydney Morning Herald Centenary Supplement 1831 - April 18th - 1931, 1831, The Sydney Morning Herald, 20 April 2016,weblink" title="">weblink 21 September 2016, yes, 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.NEWS,weblink The Sydney Morning Herald {{!, Australian newspaper|work=Encyclopedia Britannica|access-date=4 September 2017|language=en|archive-url=|archive-date=4 September 2017|dead-url=no|df=dmy-all}} 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."During the decade 1890, Donald Murray worked there.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,weblink Australian Breaking News Headlines & World News Online -, The Sydney Morning Herald, 23 November 2017,weblink" title="">weblink 23 February 2011, no, dmy-all, 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.NEWS,weblink 'Smage' journos must adapt, The Australian, 5 July 2011, 3 May 2007, Tabakoff, Nick, 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.NEWS, Souter, Gavin, History makes way for compact future,weblink 1 March 2013, The Sydney Morning Herald, 1 March 2013,weblink" title="">weblink 2 March 2013, no, dmy-all, Fairfax also announced it would cut staff across the entire group by 1,900 over three years and erect paywalls around the papers' websites.WEB, Zappone, Chris, Fairfax to shed 1900 staff, erect paywalls,weblink Sydney Morning Herald, 18 June 2012, 18 June 2012,weblink" title="">weblink 19 June 2012, no, dmy-all, 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.NEWS,weblink Fairfax moves to 'freemium' model, Simpson, Kirsty, 18 June 2012, The Sydney Morning Herald, 18 June 2012,weblink" title="">weblink 20 June 2012, no, dmy-all, 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".In July 2013 it was announced that the SMH 's news director, Darren Goodsir, would become Editor-in-Chief, replacing Sean Aylmer.NEWS, New Sydney Morning Herald Editor-in-Chief announced,weblink Sydney Morning Herald, 30 July 2013, 30 July 2013,weblink" title="">weblink 1 August 2013, no, dmy-all, On 22 February 2014, the final Saturday edition was produced in broadsheet format with this too converted to compact format on 1 March 2014,NEWS,weblink Fairfax to complete transition to compact, Homewood, Sarah, 28 January 2014, The Newspaper Works, 25 February 2014,weblink" title="">weblink 28 February 2014, no, dmy-all, ahead of the decommissioning of the printing plant at Chullora in June 2014.NEWS,weblink Elliot, Tim, 7 June 2014, The Sydney Morning Herald, Full stop for Chullora print plant after 19 years, 7 June 2014,weblink" title="">weblink 7 June 2014, no, dmy-all,

Political viewpoint

According to Irial Glynn, the newspaper's editorial stance is generally centrist.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" It is seen as the most centrist among the three major Australian non-tabloids (the other two being the Australian and the Age).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)." 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.NEWS,weblink Editorial: It's time for a vote of greater independence, The Sydney Morning Herald, 7 October 2004, 26 March 2007,weblink" title="">weblink 19 October 2007, no, dmy-all, During the 1999 referendum on whether Australia should become a republic, the Herald (like the other two major papers) strongly supported a "yes" vote.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.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 conservative Coalition at the 2007 New South Wales state election,NEWS,weblink Editorial: Why NSW cannot afford four more years of Labor, The Sydney Morning Herald, 22 March 2007, 26 March 2007,weblink" title="">weblink 9 January 2008, no, dmy-all, but endorsed Labor at the 2007 and 2010 federal elections,NEWS,weblink Editorial: The more they stay the same …, The Sydney Morning Herald, 24 November 2007, 31 January 2008,weblink" title="">weblink 9 December 2007, no, dmy-all, before endorsing the Coalition again at the 2013 federal elections.NEWS,weblink Editorial: Australians deserve a government they can trust, The Sydney Morning Herald, 6 September 2013, 21 November 2014,weblink" title="">weblink 20 May 2014, no, dmy-all, The Herald endorsed Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in the run-up for the 2016 U.S. presidential election.NEWS, Donald Trump should quit presidential race, The Sydney Morning Herald, Fairfax Media, 10 October 2016,weblink 18 January 2019,weblink" title="">weblink 22 October 2017, no, dmy-all, During the 2019 election, the newspaper endorsed the Labor party.

Notable contributors

Notable illustrators

  • Simon Letch, named as one of the year's best illustrators on four consecutive occasions.WEB, Behind the lines. Year's best political cartoons, 2007,weblink National Museum of Australia, 18 September 2016,weblink" title="">weblink 27 September 2016, no, dmy-all, WEB, Behind the lines. Year's best political cartoons, 2008,weblink National Museum of Australia, 18 September 2016,weblink" title="">weblink 29 May 2016, no, dmy-all, WEB, Behind the lines. Year's best political cartoons, 2009,weblink National Museum of Australia, 18 September 2016,weblink" title="">weblink 27 September 2016, no, dmy-all, WEB, Behind the lines. Year's best political cartoons, 2010,weblink National Museum of Australia, 18 September 2016,weblink" title="">weblink 27 September 2016, no, dmy-all,


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.BOOK, Ruth Park, Ruth Park's Sydney, Duffy & Snellgrove, 1999, 978-1-875989-45-4, From 10 December 2018 Nine and Fairfax Media merged into one business known as Nine. Nine Publishing owns The Sydney Morning Herald.


Column 8

Column 8 is a short column to which Herald readers send their observations of interesting happenings. It was first published on 11 January 1947.JOURNAL, 26.19 Granny George calls it a day, Australian Newspaper History Group Newsletter, 26, 5, February 2004,weblink pdf (20 pages), 15 January 2008,weblink" title="">weblink 16 February 2008, 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.JOURNAL, 8.37 Changes in the Herald: Who will make me smile before breakfast?, Australian Newspaper History Group Newsletter, 8, 17–18, August 2000,weblink pdf (19 pages), 15 January 2008, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 15 April 2012, dmy-all, The content tends to the quirky, typically involving strange urban occurrences, instances of confusing signs (often in Engrish), word play, and discussion of more or less esoteric topics.JOURNAL, 41.26 Has the world gone mad? Column 8 at 60, Australian Newspaper History Group Newsletter, 41, 8, February 2007,weblink pdf (20 pages), 15 January 2008,weblink" title="">weblink 16 February 2008, no, dmy-all, 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.{{Australian Dictionary of Biography|last= Souter |first= Gavin |authorlink= |year= 1983 |id= A130667b |title= Deamer, Sydney Harold (1891–1962) |accessdate= 15 January 2008 |quote = Moving to the Sydney Morning Herald, from 1947 to 1961 Deamer was founding editor of 'Column 8', a daily, front-page feature of miscellaneous paragraphs under a symbolic drawing of 'Granny Herald' whose waspish features bore a resemblance to his own. He retired in February 1961.}}It was edited for 15 years by George Richards, who retired on 31 January 2004.NEWS, Alan, Ramsey, Alan Ramsey, George has moved on but his Granny still lives,weblink Sydney Morning Herald, 4 February 2004, 15 January 2008,weblink" title="">weblink 19 April 2004, no, dmy-all, 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.JOURNAL, 32.31 Column 8 Changes Style, Australian Newspaper History Group Newsletter, 32, May 2005,weblink pdf (20 pages), 15 January 2008, 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.,weblink" title="">weblink 16 February 2008,


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

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.


The paper has been partially digitised as part of the Australian Newspapers Digitisation Program project of the National Library of Australia.WEB, Newspaper and magazine titles,weblink Trove, National Library of Australia, 5 June 2013,weblink" title="">weblink 29 February 2016, no, dmy-all, WEB, Newspaper Digitisation Program,weblink National Library of Australia, 5 June 2013,weblink" title="">weblink 2 July 2015, no, dmy-all, JOURNAL, Brown, Jerelynn, Tabloids in the State Library of NSW collection: A reflection of life in Australia, Australian Journal of Communication, 2011, 38, 2, 107–121,

See also



Further reading

  • Merrill, John C. and Harold A. Fisher. The world's great dailies: profiles of fifty newspapers (1980) pp 314–19
  • 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}}

External links

{{Commons category|Sydney Morning Herald}}
  • {{Official websiteweblink}}
  • Earth Hour archive
  • {{trove newspaper|35|The Sydney Morning Herald|NSW : 1842 - 1954}}
  • {{trove newspaper|37|The Sydney Herald|NSW : 1831 - 1842}}
  • {{trove newspaper|39|The Sun-Herald|Sydney, NSW : 1953 - 1954}}
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