The Chaser (newspaper)
The Chaser Logo
The newspaper, first published on 9 May 1999, was The Chaser team's most famous (or infamous) enterprise. Among other things, they have published Australian Prime Minister John Howard's private, unlisted home phone number on their front page, which caused wide controversy. Apparently the phone number was sent to one of the writers by SMS and they sat on it for a while, until the opportunity to use it came up when John Howard ignored anti-war protests. The Chaser only had a limited fan base, with the average sales numbers per issue well under 30,000. But when their newspaper was shown as a lead story in all major Australian news broadcasts, not only was the headline widely spread, but the concept and the popularity of the newspaper leaped dramatically.
Another coup by The Chaser newspaper involved the award ceremony for Australian Television, the Logies. The top award presented - the Gold Logie - is decided by a popular vote. Due to the small level of voting (restricted only to readers of the magazine TV Week), the Chaser team encouraged all their readers to vote for little known SBS news reader Anton Enus for the award. It was rumoured that the ploy was only just unsuccessful.
The newspaper also received considerable notoriety for its 9/11 edition, which was going to print just as the planes hit the World Trade Center. The team were widely condemned for headlines including "World Trade Center Janitor Declares 'Best Sickie Ever'".
In 2005, production of the paper was wound down due to lack of profitability, as well as to ease the demands on the writers. The Chaser team did however announce that they will be concentrating on other forms of media in the future. The Chaser is still published in electronic form on its web site. The site includes discussion boards for members and non-members to contribute their own satirical pieces and debate contemporary political issues. The final paper was published in February 2005.
- "Full Record". National Library of Australia. Retrieved 2008-01-12.
- "Defiant thrill of the chase". The Sydney Morning Herald. 12 April 2003.