The Daily Telegraph (Australia)

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The Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph front page 12-12-2005.jpg
Front page of The Daily Telegraph on 12 December 2005, reporting on the 2005 Cronulla riots
Type Daily newspaper
Format Tabloid
Owner(s) News Corp Australia
Editor Paul Whittaker
Founded 1879
Political alignment conservative, populist
Headquarters 2 Holt Street,
Surry Hills, NSW, Australia
Official website

The Daily Telegraph is a conservative, Australian tabloid newspaper published in Sydney, New South Wales, by Nationwide News, part of News Corp. The Tele, as it is also known, was founded in 1879.[1] From 1936 to 1972, it was owned by Frank Packer's Australian Consolidated Press. That year it was sold to News Limited (now News Corp Australia). In 1990, it merged with its afternoon sister paper The Daily Mirror to form The Daily Telegraph-Mirror with morning and afternoon editions although the afternoon editions were later discontinued.

The new paper continued in this vein until January 1996 when reader pressure for a shorter title caused the name of the paper to revert to The Daily Telegraph, despite staff concerns that former Mirror readers would now feel disenfranchised. The circulation of the newspaper during the June quarter 2013 was 310,724 on weekdays,[2] the largest of a Sydney newspaper.

The Daily Telegraph is published Monday through Saturday and is available across New South Wales, Canberra and South East Queensland. On 19 November 2010, The Daily Telegraph released their iPad application enabling users to view a custom version of the website.[3]

It is Australia's least-trusted major newspaper. [4][5]


On Sundays, its counterpart is The Sunday Telegraph.

Its Melbourne counterparts are the Herald Sun and Sunday Herald Sun. In Brisbane, it is linked with The Courier-Mail and The Sunday Mail, in Adelaide, The Advertiser and Sunday Mail, in Perth, The Sunday Times, in Hobart, The Mercury and The Sunday Tasmanian, in Darwin, The Northern Territory News and Sunday Territorian.


The Telegraph's most high-profile columnists, among them Piers Akerman, Miranda Devine, Tim Blair and Andrew Bolt are stridently politically conservative, and unabashedly provocative. Blair for instance, in 2014, labelled all arts students as a 'grasping kind' whose 'pointless degrees' fitted them for 'pointless careers as academics, public servants and drug addicts', in an article that began by favourably invoking a New Zealand musical troupe whose members were arts graduates.[6]

A Roy Morgan media credibility survey found that 40 per cent of journalists viewed News Limited newspapers as Australia's most partisan media outlet, ahead of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on 25 per cent. The survey found that readers took a generally dim view of journalists. In response to the question "Which newspapers do you believe do not accurately and fairly report the news?", the Daily Telegraph came third (9%) behind the Herald Sun (11%) and "All of them" (16%).[7]

At the Australian federal election, 2007 the Daily Telegraph for only the second time endorsed the Australian Labor Party. At the Australian federal election, 2010 the Newspaper endorsed the Coalition and Tony Abbott.


John Brogden allegations[edit]

The Telegraph was widely criticised for its coverage of former New South Wales Liberal leader John Brogden. After Brogden resigned in 2005, the newspaper ran a front-page headline, "Brogden's Sordid Past: Disgraced Liberal leader damned by secret shame file," detailing past allegations of misconduct by Brogden. The following day, Brogden attempted suicide at his electoral office.

Rodney Tiffen, an academic at the University of Sydney, described the newspaper's coverage as an example of "hyena journalism", judging Brogden's personal life to be off limits following his withdrawal from public life.[8]

Editor David Penberthy claimed that his source was from inside the Liberal Party and that none of the events would have happened if no one leaked from inside the party.[9]

Mount Druitt High School[edit]

On 8 January 1997, the Telegraph published the headline, "The class we failed" concerning was the Year 12 class at Mount Druitt High School in outer Western Sydney in which no student scored a Tertiary Entrance Rank (TER) above 50 (the maximum possible mark is 100). Although the article made clear that the newspaper believed that the state had failed the students, many accused the Telegraph of branding the students themselves as failures and showing a full year photo identifying students.

The story led to a renewed focus on the quality of public schools in Western Sydney and precipitated several reviews of schooling in the area.[10] But for many, the headline highlighted problems with interpreting Higher School Certificate results and the accompanying TER.[11]

The students successfully sued the newspaper in the Supreme Court for defamation. The Telegraph subsequently apologised and settled for damages out of court.[12] The published apology stated:

In that story The Daily Telegraph suggested, among other things, that the students in the class of 1996 failed their HSC. This is wrong and The Daily Telegraph withdraws any such suggestion. The Daily Telegraph also withdraws any suggestion that those students acted without discipline or commitment in their HSC studies. The students in the HSC class of 1996 successfully completed their HSC and contrary to the suggestions in the original article many of those students performed very well scoring high marks in the HSC. The Daily Telegraph apologises to each student in the class of 1996 at Mt Druitt. It also apologises to their parents and friends for all the hurt, harm and suffering it has caused them.[12]

Later, criticising defamation laws, News Limited CEO John Hartigan said that

The words in the story pointed to deep-seated problems within the education system, but a barrister convinced the jury that, regardless of the words before him, what we really meant to say was that the entire class was too stupid to pass the HSC."[13]

Call centres in India[edit]

In October 2006, The Telegraph claimed in a front page article that ANZ were using call centres in Bangalore, India. The paper even sent a journalist to Bangalore, Luke McIlveen, and a photographer to verify this claim.[14] ANZ strongly denied the claim, stating that they do not employ overseas call centre staff in India.[15] Subsequently, ANZ pulled all of its advertising from News Limited, including Foxtel and News websites.

Our advertising with News Limited is worth $4 to 5 million and accounts for about 10 per cent of ANZ's advertising budget.[16]

In assuming blame, David Penberthy, editor-in-chief of News Limited, defended McIlveen.[17]

Allegations of plagiarism[edit]

In 2002, former Telegraph journalist, Matt Sun, was accused of plagiarism by the TV program Media Watch.[18][19] Editor at the time, Campbell Reid, responded by accusing Media Watch's host of having a conflict of interest that "destroyed the credibility of any judgement he could pass on the ethics and standards of others in the media".[20]

Press Council complaint regarding Greens article[edit]

In May 2011, The Telegraph published an article making an assertion about the Australian Greens which subsequently prompted a complaint to the Australian Press Council. The article asserted that the Greens had managed to "force" the Government to divert money from flood relief, to fund various Green programs. The Press Council upheld the complaint and published the following statement (extract only):

The assertion was inaccurate and remains uncorrected. The complaint is therefore upheld.[21]

Press Council complaint regarding series of misleading NBN articles[edit]

In June and July 2011, The Telegraph published a series of articles about the National Broadband Network. These articles triggered a complaint to the Australian Press Council, alleging that they were factually incorrect, unbalanced and misleading. In December 2011, the Press Council upheld the complaints on all three articles, forcing The Telegraph to publish the adjudication.[22][23] The Council also published the following statement in regards to the issue:

The Council expressed concern that within a short period of time three articles on the same theme contained inaccurate or misleading assertions. It considers that this sequence of errors should not have occurred and that they should have been corrected promptly and adequately when brought to the newspaper's attention.[24]

Press Council complaint regarding Mark Latham article (Sunday Telegraph)[edit]

In December 2011, The Sunday Telegraph published two articles regarding former Labor leader Mark Latham and an alleged argument he had with his child's swimming teacher. Mr Latham complained to the Australian Press Council that there was a conflict of interest which should have been disclosed as the reporter was the daughter of one of the swim teachers at the school. Mr Latham also complained that the articles breached the privacy of his family, especially his young children, and were not in the public interest. The Press Council upheld the complaint and published the following statement (extract only):

The Council emphasises that in accordance with generally recognised principles a conflict of interest exists where there is a reasonable possibility that the conflict will affect a reporter's impartiality, irrespective of whether it actually does so. Accordingly, this aspect of the complaint is upheld.

The Council also found that there had been an "unreasonable intrusion on the children's privacy" and upheld that aspect of the complaint.[25]

Press Council complaint regarding asylum seeker article[edit]

In November 2011, The Telegraph published an article regarding asylum seekers with the front-page heading 'OPEN THE FLOODGATES – Exclusive: Thousands of boat people to invade NSW'. Another headline stated 'Detainee Deluge for Sydney'. This prompted a complaint to the Australian Press Council, which was upheld. The Press Council published the following statement (extract only):

The Press Council has concluded that use of the word "invade" was gravely inaccurate, unfair and offensive because of its clear connotations of forceful occupation. Accordingly, the complaint is upheld on this ground for what the Council regards as an especially serious breach of its principles. The Council has concluded that use of the words "open the floodgates" and "deluge" were inaccurate and unfair. Even the intake levels claimed in the article could not reasonably be described as having such an extreme impact on suburban Sydney, and nothing quoted from the briefing note asserted government fears of inability to cope.[26]

Press Council complaint regarding series of Clover Moore articles[edit]

Throughout 2011, The Telegraph published 17 articles regarding Sydney Lord Mayor and MP Clover Moore. The articles prompted a complaint to the Australian Press Council. The complainant argued that the articles provided unbalanced coverage and that many of the headlines and phrases were opinion rather than fact. The Press Council upheld the complaint in part and published the following statement (extract only):

The Council has concluded that the headlines mentioned above breached [the Council's] principles because they expressed the newspaper's opinions rather than being a summary of facts reported in the accompanying news story. The inclusion in a news story of words such as "crazy council policies", "junket" and "diva-like list of demands" which were not attributed to any sources also failed to separate fact from opinion. Accordingly, the complaint is upheld on these grounds.[27]

This adjudication marked the 4th complaint to have been upheld against The Daily Telegraph under the editorship of Paul Whittaker, since commencing the role in April 2011.[28]

Photoshopping of Mike Carlton onto Boston bombing victim[edit]

Following the resignation of Fairfax commentator Mike Carlton, the Daily Telegraph published a 2-page spread attacking Carlton and competing newspaper the Sydney Morning Herald. The spread included a composited image of Boston bombing victim James Costello, with Mr Carlton's face and wearing a Arab headdress. The photoshopped image portrayed Carlton 'escaping Gaza'. The image manipulation drew widespread criticism on social media, and forced the editor to apologise, saying he was unaware of the origin of the well known image. [29]


The Telegraph is edited by Paul Whittaker. Whittaker's predecessors are Gary Linnell, David Penberthy,[30] Campbell Reid,[30] David Banks[31] and Col Allan, who now serves as editor-in-chief at the Murdoch-owned New York Post.

Columnists include Piers Akerman, Tim Blair and education specialist Maralyn Parker. Journalists include Malcolm Farr, Joe Hildebrand and Luke McIlveen.

Past writers for the newspaper include Mark Day, the late Peter Frilingos, Miranda Devine, Mike Gibson, Peter Holder and David Luff.


The Daily Telegraph website hosts the blogs of several columnists.

  • Piers Akerman, right-wing conservative commentator since 1993
  • Anita Quigley, TV, radio and newspaper journalist for 16 years
  • Sydney Confidential, local and international gossip, glamour and celebrity news
  • Maralyn Parker, award-winning education columnist's blog
  • Tim Blair, blog
  • Steve Mascord, Rugby League reporter
  • Joe Hildebrand, journalist blog

Circulation and readership[edit]

The average print circulation for The Daily Telegraph on weekdays was 310,724 during the June quarter 2013, having fallen 11.2 per cent compared to the June quarter 2012.[2]

The Daily Telegraph's readership on weekdays has been estimated at 781,000 during 2012, down from 902,000 during 2011. Its readership on Saturdays has been estimated at 729,000 during 2012, down from 800,000 during 2011.[32]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Clancy, Laurie (2004). "The Media and Cinema". Culture and Customs of Australia. Greenwood Press. p. 126. ISBN 0-313-32169-8. 
  2. ^ a b Knott, Matthew (16 August 2013). "Newspaper circulation results shocker: the contagion edition". Crikey. Private Media. Retrieved 27 August 2013. 
  3. ^ "Stop the presses and pass the iPad – news revolution continues ", The Daily Telegraph (Australia)
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ T. Blair, 'Tricks Work a Treat in the Public Trough', The Daily Telegraph, 2 June 2014.
  7. ^ "10,13_tr66_media" (PDF). [dead link]
  8. ^ "The Daily Telegraph, John Brogden and hyena journalism". 
  9. ^ Editor rejects attack over Brogden coverage. 31/08/2005. ABC News Online[dead link]
  10. ^ "New South Wales Public Education Inquiry: Final Reports: Second Report: 22: Chapter 4: Impact of the Restructuring of Public Education in NSW since 1988". 
  11. ^ Policy Spring (Sept–Nov) 1998[dead link]
  12. ^ a b NSW Teachers Federation: Education Online: November 2000: Telegraph apologises to Mt Druitt students[dead link]
  13. ^ Press freedom under attack[dead link]
  14. ^ Media Watch: Front Page — Bad Line For Bangalore (16 October 2006)
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ "The Age of disbelief", The Australian
  18. ^ "Media Watch | Armed Holdup". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 17 June 2002. 
  19. ^ "Media Watch | Campbell Reid's Standards". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 27 May 2002. 
  20. ^ "Media Watch |". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 
  21. ^ "Adjudication No. 1506: The Australian Greens/The Daily Telegraph (September 2011)". Australian Press Council. 23 Sep 2011. 
  22. ^ Winterford, Brett (23 December 2011). "Press Council finds News Limited misled over NBN". IT News Australia. Retrieved 29 December 2011. 
  23. ^ Nayantara, Mallya (24 December 2011). "Daily Telegraph repeatedly wrong in NBN reports". Delimiter. Retrieved 29 December 2011. 
  24. ^ "Adjudiciation No. 1515: Jamie Benaud/The Daily Telegraph (December 2011)". Australian Press Council. 22 December 2011. Retrieved 29 December 2011. 
  25. ^ "Adjudication No. 1531: Mark Latham/The Sunday Telegraph (May 2012)". Australian Press Council. 21 May 2012. Retrieved 29 December 2011. 
  26. ^ "Adjudication No. 1536: Anna Krjatian/The Daily Telegraph (May 2012)". Australian Press Council. 5 June 2012. 
  27. ^ "Adjudication No. 1537: Stephen Pate/The Daily Telegraph (June 2012)". Australian Press Council. 6 June 2012. 
  28. ^ "A new editor for the Daily Telegraph – Paul Whittaker", The Daily Telegraph (Australia)
  29. ^
  30. ^ a b AAP (1 April 2005). "New editor for Daily Telegraph". Sydney Morning Herald. 
  31. ^ Banksy's Blog: About David Banks
  32. ^ "Roy Morgan Readership estimates for Australia for the 12 months to December 2012 (Finding No. 1932)". Roy Morgan Research. Roy Morgan Research. 15 February 2013. Retrieved 27 August 2013.