Sydney morning herald

Sydney morning herald

Template:Use Australian English

The Sydney Morning Herald
210px
The front page of The Sydney Morning Herald
on 30 March 2007.
Type Daily newspaper
Format Compact (weekdays), Broadsheet (Saturdays)
Owner Fairfax Media
Founder Ward Stephens, Frederick Stokes and William McGarvie
Editor-in-chief Darren Goodsir
Founded 18 April 1831 (183 years, 64 days)
Political alignment Centre-left
Language English
Headquarters 1 Darling Island Road, Pyrmont NSW
Circulation 186,000[1] (Mon to Fri average, ABC, Dec 2012)
292,989[1] (Saturdays, ABC, Dec 2012)
Sister newspapers The Sun-Herald (Sunday edition)
The Age (Melbourne)
ISSN OCLC number 226369741
Official website www.smh.com.au

The Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) is a daily compact newspaper published by Fairfax Media in Sydney. Founded in 1831 as the Sydney Herald, the SMH is the oldest continuously published newspaper in Australia.[2] The newspaper is published six days a week, with a broadsheet edition on Saturdays. The newspaper's Sunday counterpart, The Sun-Herald, is published in tabloid format. It is available at outlets in Sydney, regional New South Wales, Canberra and South East Queensland (Brisbane, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast).

Overview

The Sydney Morning Herald is historically credited with high standards of journalism but in recent years it has been criticised for declining standards, with an increased focus on gossip, large photographs and racier headlines.[3]

Fairfax Media publishes a variety of supplements, including the magazines Good Weekend (which is included in the Saturday editions of The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald; and the(sydney)magazine, with a counterpart the(melbourne)magazine released in the sister-city publication. There are a variety of lift-outs, some of them co-branded with Fairfax Media's online classified advertising sites:

  • The Guide (television) on Monday
  • Good Living (food) and Domain (real estate) on Tuesday
  • Money (personal finance) on Wednesday
  • Drive (motor), Metro (entertainment) on Friday
  • News Review, Spectrum (arts and entertainment guide), Domain (real estate), Drive (motoring) and MyCareer (employment) on Saturday

Defunct sections include a dot-com section called Biz.com published in the late 1990s and a youth section called Radar published in the early 2000s. In a cost-cutting drive, editorial production of several of these sections was outsourced in 2008.

According to Roy Morgan Research Readship 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.[4] The Audit Bureau of Circulations audit on newspaper circulation states that on average in excess of 209,500 copies sold per day, Monday to Friday, and 340,127 copies of the Saturday edition sold.[5]

The editor is Darren Goodsir. Former editors include Sean Aylmer, Frederick William Ward, Charles Brunsdon Fletcher, Colin Bingham, Max Prisk, John Alexander, Paul McGeough, Alan Revell, Alan Oakley and Peter Fray.

History

Three employees of the now-defunct Sydney Gazette, Ward Stephens, Frederick Stokes and William McGarvie, founded The Sydney Herald in 1831. The 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 smh.com.au, the newspaper's web edition. 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 has since 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.[6] 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.[7] Fairfax also announced it would cut staff across the entire group by 1,900 over three years and erect paywalls around the papers' websites.[8] 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.[9] 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 managements wish for "full integration of its online, print and mobile platforms".[8]

In July 2013 it was announced that the SMH's news director, Darren Goodsir, will become Editor-in-Chief, replacing Sean Aylmer. [10]

Political viewpoint

Historically, the SMH has been a conservative newspaper. It did not endorse the Australian Labor Party at any election until 1984 or at a state election until 2003.

During the 2004 Australian federal election the Herald announced it would "no longer endorse one party or another at election time". The newspaper said the policy might yet be revised: "A truly awful government of any colour, for example, would bring reappraisal."[11] The Herald subsequently endorsed the conservative Coalition at the 2007 NSW State election,[12] but endorsed Labor at the 2007 and 2010 Federal elections.[13]

The newspaper has in recent years attempted to spearhead political campaigns, including the "Campaign for Sydney" (planning and transport) and "Earth Hour" (environment).

Notable contributors

Ownership

Main article: Fairfax Media

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 a Fairfax family member, John B. Fairfax, in as a significant player in the company.[14]

Content

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.[15] 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.[16]

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.[17]

The column is also sometimes affectionately known as Granny, after a fictional grandmother who supposedly edited it. The old Granny logo was used for the first 20 years of the column and is occasionally resurrected for a special retrospective.[15] The logo was a caricature of Sydney Deamer, originator of the column and its author for 14 years.[16][18]

It was edited for 15 years by George Richards, who retired on 31 January 2004.[15][19] Other editors besides Deamer and Richards have been Duncan Thompson, Bill Fitter, Col Allison, Jim Cunningham, and briefly, Peter Bowers and Lenore Nicklin.[19] The column is currently edited by Pat Sheil.[20]

Opinion

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 columnist Phillip Coorey, Paul Sheehan and Richard Ackland, as well occasional reader-submitted content.

Good Weekend

Good Weekend is a liftout magazine that is distributed with both The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age on Saturdays.

It contains, on average, four feature articles written by its stable of writers and syndicated from overseas as well as sections on food, wine and fashion.

Writers include Janet Hawley, Amanda Hooton and Greg Bearup.

Other sections include "Modern Guru", which features humorous columnists including Danny Katz responding to the everyday dilemmas of readers; a Samurai Sudoku; and "The Two Of Us", containing interviews with a pair of close friends, relatives or colleagues.

Good Weekend is edited by Ben Naparstek. Previous editors include Judith Whelan and Fenella Souter.

Digitisation

The paper has been partially digitised as part of the Australian Newspapers Digitisation Program (ANDP) project of the National Library of Australia.[21] [22][23]

See also

References

Further reading

  • 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

  • Earth Hour archive