The Daily Telegraph (Sydney)
(News Corp Australia)
|Founded||The Daily Telegraph 1879|
The Daily Telegraph-Mirror 1990 (merger with The Daily Mirror)
The Daily Telegraph 1996
|Headquarters||2 Holt Street, Surry Hills|
265,711 (Saturday) (as of 2013-14 financial year)
|Readership||1,191,000 (Weekdays) |
The Daily Telegraph is published Monday through Saturday and is available throughout Sydney, across most of regional and remote New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory and South East Queensland.
Amongst those ranked by Nielsen, the Telegraph's website is the 6th most popular Australian news website, and the most popular paid-subscription Australian news website. with a unique monthly audience of 2,841,381 readers.
- 1 History
- 2 Controversies
- 2.1 Geoffrey Rush Defamation
- 2.2 Reporting of Transgender Woman Accused of Violent Axe Attack
- 2.3 Infographic on Health and Gay Children
- 2.4 Tony Zoef Defamation
- 2.5 John Brogden allegations
- 2.6 Mount Druitt High School
- 2.7 Call centres in India
- 2.8 Allegations of plagiarism
- 2.9 Press Council complaint regarding Greens article
- 2.10 Press Council complaint regarding series of misleading NBN articles
- 2.11 Press Council complaint regarding Mark Latham article (Sunday Telegraph)
- 2.12 Press Council complaint regarding asylum seeker article
- 2.13 Press Council complaint regarding series of Clover Moore articles
- 2.14 Photoshopping of Mike Carlton onto Boston bombing victim
- 3 Counterparts
- 4 Political stance
- 5 Staff
- 6 Blogs
- 7 Circulation and readership
- 8 See also
- 9 References
The Tele, as it is also known, was founded in 1879. From 1936 to 1972, it was owned by Sir Frank Packer's Australian Consolidated Press. That year it was sold to News Limited (now News Corp Australia).
The paper ran as a broadsheet until 1927, when it switched to a tabloid format. The paper returned to a broadsheet format in 1931, but wartime paper restrictions saw it return to tabloid format in 1942.
In October 1990, it merged with its afternoon sister paper The Daily Mirror to form The Daily Telegraph-Mirror with morning and afternoon editions. The new paper continued in this vein until January 1996 when the paper name reverted to The Daily Telegraph, in the process, removing the last vestige of the old Daily Mirror, although the paper continued morning and afternoon editions until January 2002, when the afternoon edition was discontinued.
Geoffrey Rush Defamation
On 30 November 2017, the Daily Telegraph published a front page article, headlined "King Leer", alleging that actor Geoffrey Rush had acted inappropriately towards a female actor during rehearsals for the Sydney Theatre Company's 2015-2016 production of "King Lear". The article featured an image of Rush shirtless and in white makeup.
Rush denied the incidents, and said his career had been "irreparably damaged" by the newspaper's untrue reports. It subsequently came to light that the Daily Telegraph did not interview the female actor concerned and provided only a few hours for Rush to respond to the serious allegations. Rush filed proceedings on 8 December 2017 in the Federal Court of Australia for defamation against the publisher of the Daily Telegraph, saying the publisher "made false, pejorative and demeaning claims, splattering them with unrelenting bombast on its front pages".
The defamation claim was upheld on 11 April 2019. Justice Michael Wigney found that the Daily Telegraph's report was "in all the circumstances, a recklessly irresponsible and sensationalist journalism of the worst kind." He found that the publisher had been unable to prove that the allegations were substantially true. He awarded $0.85m, with further damages for the actor’s economic losses to be determined later. He said that the female actor was needlessly “dragged into the spotlight by the actions" of the Daily Telegraph.
Reporting of Transgender Woman Accused of Violent Axe Attack
In January 2017, the Daily Telegraph published an article concerning a transgender woman subsequently convicted of a violent axe attack in a Sydney suburb. Although her transgender status was irrelevant to the incident at the time, The Daily Telegraph used derogatory slurs and made repeated references to the attacker's history of sex reassignment surgery, calling the woman a "tranny" who "had chopped herself".
The following week, SBS published an article expressing concern about how journalists "appear to enjoy treating transgender people as the punchline to a joke," singling out the Daily Telegraph's journalist.
In September 2018, the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal considered whether the article constituted unlawful vilification through its "gratuitous references to", and "ridicule of" the woman's transgender status. The Tribunal found that the Daily Telegraph published the article with "apparent disregard for the injurious effect it might have on transgender people." The Tribunal also held that, "it is evident that [the journalist] was seeking to make fun of Ms Amati and probably transgender people more generally," and that the "attempt at humour was in poor taste and completely devoid of empathy or sensitivity."
Continuing, the Tribunal also held that the article "contributes to the perpetration and perpetuation of demeaning negative stereotypes and a lack of acceptance of transgender people within the community." The Tribunal ultimately concluded that, whilst "close to the line", the article did not reach the threshold for vilification.
Lawyer Michael Bradley wrote an analysis of the case for political news website Crikey, arguing that the publication of such articles should not be unlawful, but instead that the Daily Telegraph should have sufficient social responsibility to cease publishing the author's "recklessly hurtful attempts at wit — because he did, and does, harm."
As of September 2018, the article has been removed from the website of the Daily Telegraph and replaced with a notice stating "This article is no longer available."
Infographic on Health and Gay Children
On 12 July 2017, the Daily Telegraph published an article headlined "Fat Chance Of Being Healthy” in print. The article was syndicated online under the headline "Junk food, alcohol and drugs are fuelling health crisis in young adults". The article contained an infographic that canvassed social health concerns, such as alcohol usage, obesity, and drug dependency, for which "Young Aussies have only themselves to blame". The infographic included "same sex attraction" among the condemnable health problems it canvassed.
A number of LGBTI Australians complained that the article was prejudicial, saying that sexual orientation is neither a choice nor a medical problem, and such coverage contributes to prejudice, shame and suicide risk for young same-sex attracted people. The 'blameworthiness' implicit in the headline was alleged to perpetuate negative stereotypes about gay children. The article drew condemnation from the ABC's Media Watch, Sydney radio station 2 DAY FM, Pedestrian TV, and Junkee.
Chris Dore, the publication's Chief Editor, responded to the criticism from the Daily Telegraph's social media accounts, saying the story had been "misinterpreted" and that it "in no way suggests, or intends to suggest, that same-sex relationships are unhealthy. There is no judgement expressed at all in the story other than diet."
The press regulator, the Australian Press Council was asked to consider whether the article complied with its Statement of General Principles. The Council concluded its investigations five months later. It upheld the complaint, saying "the reference to ill health and blame in the headlines, with the statistic about same-sex attraction displayed among factors such as obesity and drug use, suggested same-sex attraction is unhealthy and blameworthy. As a result, the article caused substantial offence, distress, prejudice and risk to public health and safety, and there was no public interest justifying this."
The Daily Telegraph was further sanctioned by the Australian Press Council for failing to comply with the requirements around publication of adjudication findings. The Press Council required the publisher to republish the print component of the adjudication as it was not fully compliant with its requirements in the first instance. The reprint was published on January 24, 2018. The Daily Telegraph claimed that "nothing sinister had occurred [in the non-compliance]", and blamed the misdemeanour on a production error.
Tony Zoef Defamation
On 22 August 2013, the Daily Telegraph published an article headlined "Tailor’s alter ego as a gunrunner". The article referred to an individual who was known to Sutherland Shire locals as a "friendly tailor who spends his days altering their clothes". The article claimed that the individual was "alleged" by police to be "the mastermind behind a haul of military-grade weapons smuggled into Australia".
The article mistakenly attributed the alleged crimes to the wrong individual, who subsequently filed a complaint of defamation in the New South Wales Discrict Court. In the first instance, the Court found that, despite the serious errors in the article, the publisher's defence based on a prior offer of amends should prevail.
On appeal, the Supreme Court of NSW upheld the complaint of defamation. It held that, "Taking into account the seriousness of the defamatory imputations and the significant hurt they caused the appellant, the damage to his business as a tailor, the unequal prominence the respondent afforded to the proposed correction and apology and their resultant inadequacy, the modest monetary component of the offer, and the likelihood of the proceedings being successful, the offer of amends was not reasonable."  The Court awarded a sum of $150,000 to the complainant.
John Brogden allegations
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.
Mount Druitt High School
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 rank 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. But for many, the headline highlighted problems with interpreting Higher School Certificate results and the accompanying TER.
The students successfully sued the newspaper in the Supreme Court for defamation. The Telegraph subsequently apologised and settled for damages out of court. 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.||”|
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."||”|
Call centres in India
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. ANZ denied the claim, stating that they do not employ overseas call centre staff in India. Subsequently, ANZ pulled all of its advertising from News Limited, including Foxtel and News website, which amounted to $4 to 5 million, about 10 per cent of ANZ's advertising budget.
Allegations of plagiarism
In 2002, former Telegraph journalist, Matt Sun, was accused of plagiarism by the TV program Media Watch. 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".
Press Council complaint regarding Greens article
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 stated that the assertion was inaccurate and remained uncorrected.
Press Council complaint regarding series of misleading NBN articles
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. 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.||”|
Press Council complaint regarding Mark Latham article (Sunday Telegraph)
In December 2011, The Sunday Telegraph published two articles about 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.
Press Council complaint regarding asylum seeker article
In November 2011, The Telegraph published an article about 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.||”|
Press Council complaint regarding series of Clover Moore articles
Throughout 2011, The Telegraph published 17 articles about 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.||”|
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.
Photoshopping of Mike Carlton onto Boston bombing victim
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 Marathon bombing victim James Costello, with Mr Carlton's face and wearing an 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 image.
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 Daily Telegraph has traditionally been opposed to the Australian Labor Party, and is often a supporter of the Australian Liberal Party. A 2013 front-page headline said of the second Rudd Government "Finally, you now have the chance to kick this mob out". The paper's high-profile columnists are predominantly conservative, including Piers Akerman, Miranda Devine, Tim Blair and Andrew Bolt.
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%).
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. In the 2013 election, the Daily Telegraph ran 177 stories that were pro Coalition 11 stories that leaned the other way.
The Telegraph is edited by Christopher Dore. Dore's predecessors are Paul Whittaker, Gary Linnell, David Penberthy, Campbell Reid, David Banks and Col Allan, who served as editor-in-chief at the Murdoch-owned New York Post from 2001 to 2016.
Columnists include Piers Akerman, Tim Blair, Miranda Devine and education specialist Maralyn Parker. Journalists include Joe Hildebrand, Samantha Maiden, Andrew Clennell, Mark Morri, Nick Tabakoff, Edward Boyd, Ashleigh Gleeson, Laura Banks and Daniel Meers.
The Daily Telegraph website hosts the blogs of several columnists.
*Tim Blair, blog
*Andrew Bolt, blog
*Miranda Devine, blog
*Piers Akerman, right-wing conservative commentator since 1993
*RendezView, a stable of several opinion columnists
*Game of Moans, a pop culture blog focusing on Game of Thrones and the Walking Dead.
Circulation and readership
Readership data from Enhanced Media Metrics Australia (EMMA) October 2018 report shows that the Daily Telegraph has total monthly readership of 4,500,000 people via print and digital, compared to 7,429,000 people for its primary competitor, the Sydney Morning Herald.
The Daily Telegraph's, weekday print newspaper circulation fell from 310,724 in June 2013 to 221,641 in June 2017. Saturday newspaper circulation fell from 265,711 to 221,996 over the same period.
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