David Penberthy

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David Penberthy is the editor-in-chief of News Limited news site news.com.au and the opinion website, The Punch. He was editor of The Daily Telegraph in Sydney, Australia, from April 2005 until November 2008.[1][2]

Early life and education[edit]

Penberthy studied a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Adelaide in the late 1980s. Initially, he had enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws, but he left legal studies entering journalism.


He was the 1990 co-editor of On Dit, the newspaper of the University's Student Association and was also President of CISCAC, the Committee in Solidarity with Central America and the Caribbean, a Marxist political club.[3] In addition he was the energetic frontman for punk band Cerveza y Putas (Beer and Whores),[4][5] which played originals and cover songs from such bands as the Pixies, Minor Threat, The Lemonheads, The Smiths and Hüsker Dü in Spanish, a language Penberthy acquired while living in Mexico in the late 1980s.[6]

Penberthy started his career as an industrial relations reporter and then political reporter for the Adelaide-based The Advertiser,[6] hired by then editor Peter Blunden.

In 1999 Penberthy switched to work at the Sydney-based Daily Telegraph, another newspaper in the News Limited stable. Three years into his tenure at the Telegraph he was appointed chief of staff. Later he became an opinion editor and roving columnist for the newspaper.[6] One of Penberthy's more famous moments as a reporter with the Daily Telegraph came with his "Five Star Asylum" piece, an article headlined "The truth about how inmates are treated inside Australia's detention centres."[7]

In 2005 Penberthy was appointed editor of the Daily Telegraph.[1] As editor, Penberthy came under intense pressure over the publication of stories focusing on then NSW Liberal Party leader John Brogden, who was accused of making inappropriate comments to the journalist Justine Ferrari while drunk. The Daily Telegraph said there was evidence of more serious issues concerning Brogden, who later apparently tried to commit suicide.[8]

Penberthy resigned as editor of the Daily Telegraph in November 2008 during the newspaper's campaign for the New South Wales state government to "sack itself".[2]

In October 2010, Penberthy was appointed the editor-in-chief of News Limited's online news site news.com.au as well as opinion website The Punch.[6]

Penberthy is currently (2014) the co-host of the Breakfast Show (6am - 9am) on Adelaide talkback radio station FIVEaa alongside former Channel 10 news presenters Mark Aiston and Jane Reilly.

Personal life[edit]

In October 2010 it was reported that Penberthy had recently separated from his wife and he was romantically linked to federal MP Kate Ellis.[9] A relationship between the two was confirmed by news reports in January 2011.[10] They confirmed their engagement in November 2012,[11][12] and were married on 23 February 2013.[13]


  1. ^ a b "New editor for Daily Telegraph". The Sydney Morning Herald. 1 April 2005. 
  2. ^ a b "Daily Telegraph editor quits". ABC News Online (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). 14 November 2008. Retrieved 3 September 2010. 
  3. ^ "Freakish powers of a formidable operator" by Annabel Crabb, The Sydney Morning Herald (8 December 2007)
  4. ^ "Familiar face" by Andrew Hornery and Ben Chubby, The Sydney Morning Herald (8 April 2005)
  5. ^ Cerveza y Putas – home page
  6. ^ a b c d "David Penberthy". The Punch. Retrieved 3 September 2010. 
  7. ^ "5 Star Beat Up". Media Watch. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 17 February 2003. Retrieved 3 September 2010. 
  8. ^ "Editor rejects attack over Brogden coverage". ABC News Online (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). 31 August 2005. Retrieved 3 September 2010. 
  9. ^ Hornery, Andrew (9 October 2010). "Power and the passion: things get a little heated in Canberra". The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media). 
  10. ^ Gilbertson, Matt (30 January 2011). "Yes Minister, meet MP Kate Ellis's new beau". Sunday Mail (Adelaide: News Limited). 
  11. ^ "Federal Childcare Minister and News Limited editor David Penberthy engaged to marry". The Australian – adelaidenow (News Limited). 12 November 2012. 
  12. ^ Hornery, Andrew (13 November 2012). "Power couple: Ellis and Penberthy to wed". The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media). 
  13. ^ Sobolewski, Helene (24 February 2013). "Federal Child Care Minister Kate Ellis marries Sunday Mail editor David Penberthy". The Advertiser (Adelaide). Retrieved 25 February 2013.