Talk:The Australian

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A Modest proposal[edit]

I posted a brief summary of the page edit history on when this article has had a political affiliation label in the lead material.[1] Mostly it has been (by duration)

  1. stable without any statement
  2. stable with a label of "centre-right"
  3. unstable as conflicting views vie for ascendancy.

Stability would be best, I suggest. May I also suggest that until such time as a consense emerges on what the label might be, and that it is adequately-sourced, we do not have a label at all in the lead material?

I think the way forward proposed by Aquillion above is a good one; to examine the various positions in the body of the paper, supported by good sources, of which there seems to be a sufficiency, and to base our deliberations on the facts. As opposed to inner certainties and partisan mentions on talk shows and the like. --Pete (talk) 20:30, 14 March 2019 (UTC)

A Modest Proposal? cygnis insignis 21:29, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
"Centre-right" without anything expressing that it is further right than that would be weasel words. I feel that this is a result of Merphee's extreme insistence that The Australian isn't right wing at all, in order to settle on the false compromise of "centre-right". Is there seriously anybody who objects to the infobox calling the newspaper "centre-right to right wing", except for the reason that there shouldn't be any political description in the infobox? Anybody? Onetwothreeip (talk) 21:34, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
Merphee has now declared, just above in the previous section, "The Australian is centre to centre right." HiLo48 (talk) 23:25, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
No objections here, my preference all along. Hughesdarren (talk) 21:57, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
Are the two of you in support of Aquillion's proposal. I am. That seems like the best way forward. There is no consensus whatsoever for anything else. This just goes on and on doesn't it! Merphee (talk) 22:56, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
Once again I feel I need to point out that it is our policy, that we need to follow not what an editor wants something to be. It is the reliable sources we need to follow. The reliable sources say centrist, some say centre right, some say right wing. It depends on what source, what period in time and so on. Can someone also define what right wing or left wing or centrist is here in this instance? In each country these terms mean different things. Given this is an international encyclopedia we need tho think about that point which has remained unanswered. Merphee (talk) 23:06, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
If the two of you don't want to consider Aquillion's well thought out proposal this will obviously need to go to some other Wikipedia:Dispute resolution process. I thought it seemed like a good resolution. we need to compromise here and focus on content only not on other editors as people here keep doing and us seeking a resolution. Currently there is no consensus. Merphee (talk) 23:10, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
I am thinking this would only be resolved if we make a Wikipedia:Dispute resolution requests/ArbCom and get someone else to arbitrate on this ridiculous stalemate. Merphee (talk) 23:13, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
You have now said, just above in the previous section, "The Australian is centre to centre right." That concession seems to remove the stalemate. HiLo48 (talk) 23:25, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
Are you serious? That is my opinion. However some reliable sources say centrist, some say centre right, some say right, some even say left wing at times. We go by the reliable sources HiLo48 not our opinions. I think we need to get this arbitrated. There is no consensus here. Wikipedia:Dispute resolution requests/ArbCom HiLo48 have you changed your position about supporting Aquillion's proposal? Please respond to the question? Also what is your definition of right wing left wing, centrist? It differs between countries. Merphee (talk) 23:36, 15 March 2019 (UTC)  

Geez. Round and round we go. Look, we're not getting anywhere by everyone shouting at each other. The lead - and infobox - needs to be based on the body of the article, specifically in the "Editorial and opinion pages" section, or maybe a subsection devoted to political orientation, not what someone can achieve by editwarring, not what someone's opinion here is. The Australian has supported different political views over the years. They supported Rudd over Howard IIRC, and they were certainly boosting Keating and the republic in the last age. Why not set to doing some actual bloody research, finding some actual sources, and getting in touch with some actual facts? You know, this is an encyclopaedia, and we owe to our readers to give them the good guff. My position is that I'm going to remove any political affiliation statement in lede or infobox until we have a clear consensus over what that might be in the body of the article. --Pete (talk) 23:51, 15 March 2019 (UTC)

Some very good points Pete and all well based on our policies and principles not our personal opinions or what we would like to see in the article. We need to look at The Australian historically, not just the present day. Over time political alignment has shifted quite a bit as you say. Interestingly The Australian's Australian of the Year Award has been given to more ALP politicians than Liberal politicians. All of this needs to be reflected. Merphee (talk) 00:03, 16 March 2019 (UTC)

Ya'll should consider either an RFC or the Dispute Resolution Board. So far, things are going as smoothly as Brexit sailing through the British House of Commons. GoodDay (talk) 00:09, 16 March 2019 (UTC)

@Merphee: do you have any sources that describe The Australian as centrist or left wing that describe the newspaper currently? Otherwise I think "centre-right to right wing" is broadly agreed by everybody else as a decent and encompassing description fit for the infobox, with the only possible objection being that there shouldn't be a description at all. I don't care if this is added into the lead/infobox before or after it is discussed in the body of the article, but my understanding is that it is already discussed there. As for The Australian's Australian of the Year Award, other editors have raised that this is not a serious award and has been awarded satirically, or only to indicate a person's influence in that year and not an endorsement of their views or actions. Onetwothreeip (talk) 02:52, 16 March 2019 (UTC)

As GoodDay has just stated and I've stated before we need to take this to the Dispute Resolution Board to resolve differences. There have been many editors involved yet no consensus has been achieved and the level of conflict needs to be reduced. I personally think this should be dealt with through a Wikipedia:Dispute resolution requests/ArbCom. Merphee (talk) 04:19, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
Would other editors be in support of dispute resolution? The very good proposal by Aquillion has been completely ignored by several editors such as Onetwothreeip and PeterTheFourth, which in of itself seems pretty uncivil. A lot of work went into that proposal toward a resolution and I think it is still the best way forward. I think the page needs protection for a week while this situation is resolved. The Australian is our country's most widely read national newspaper and this an important article. Merphee (talk) 04:54, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
  • ARBCOM doesnt make content decisions, the article has been at this dispute since 2009, the only time there has been stability is when it says nothing in the lead nor infox. There is no way to reliably keep it current without dispute as political leaning shifts with the editor, owner, and the times. Having nothing as suggested many time of the last 10 years is the only solution, obviously leanings can be included in relation to Editor, Owner, and Time period discourse. The age is a highly used source so we shouldn't influence other articles by unintentionally stating something relates to now when it didnt relate to an earlier time. Gnangarra 05:39, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
Comments about the position of the paper in the past are irrelevant, unless we have a section labelled "Positions of the paper in the past". That's something that could be interesting, but it's really not what this discussion is all about. It's the current position of the paper the article should describe, and that's what readers would be looking for. It's what I look for when I go to articles about journals I'm not familiar with. HiLo48 (talk) 11:00, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
"history is irrelevant" words to live by? cygnis insignis 14:37, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
The infobox in particular, and also the lead, are for current facts unless otherwise designated. The body of the article already describes the newspaper as currently a broadly right wing newspaper anyway, but it seems that further insistence about this is just a matter of stalling. It's not like we talk about the address of the newspaper's office in the body of the article, but it's still in the infobox. It's also irrelevant if the office used to be at a different address, we just report what is the current address. Onetwothreeip (talk) 23:19, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
I totally agree with Gnangarra's very sensible comments on this 10 year long issue and dispute and also strongly support leaving any type of unitary, subjective label of supposed political alignment out of the lede and out of the infobox for the reasons Gnangarra and many others have already provided on this page and other talk pages.
@Onetwothreeip: are you in support of Aquillion's proposal as a possible resolution here? Secondly are you in support of us using some type of dispute resolution to try and resolve this? Please respond to these questions. Merphee (talk) 23:34, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
@Gnangarra: Can you suggest any way forward here to resolve this decade old debate and the current editor conflict here? Is page protection for a week possible while it is resolved? Merphee (talk) 23:48, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
@HiLo48: yes currency and history are relevant, so is maintaining it, as we know(assuming) with changes to editor or owner will shift or society(less likely these days) can shift the views of the paper. Every reference use in Wikipedia from the paper links back here so history is relevant as we dont know why the reader is here. Aquillion's proposal is a way forward, maybe we need to think differently and attribute it to editorial period, with sections for the editor in chief of the paper, even if it become daughter articles because of size issues Editors in chief of The Australian. So we say in the lead something like ..under the current Editor in chief Christopher Dore The Australian has a right of centre political view in the info box we have nothing or Centre Right(EiC Dore). Then when Dore leaves it can be changed to initially ''..under the previous editor in chief Christopher Dore The Australian has more right of centre political view until we have reliable source to support any change. This will define the when so as not to impact the past, present as changes occur, and enable future shifts.
That seems like a reasonable compromise to me.Hughesdarren (talk) 01:45, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
More important surely than editor is the ownership of the paper - Rupert Murdoch/News Ltd. I'm not aware of Rupert publishing a left wing paper anywhere in the world, no matter who the editor is. HiLo48 (talk) 03:22, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
Seems like a reasonable approach. Can someone address the question of what right wing and left wing and centrist and liberal and conservative and so on means in different countries and to different people. We must consider our readers from all over the world, not just in Australia. I think we would need to be defining these abstract terms for pur readers and what they mean in Australia compared to what they mean in the USA for instance rather than just state centre right or centre left. Are we talking about political party alignment or ideology or what? Merphee (talk) 04:22, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
Meprhee, please, stop wriggling. Find us one editor here, apart from yourself, who would not describe the paper as right wing. (And even you seem to have accepted that it's at least a little bit right wing.) International definitions are not sought for every other paper in the country. You really are looking obstructionist now. HiLo48 (talk) 04:27, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
@HiLo48: please focus on content. Your constant belittling and bullying of anyone who disagrees with you needs to stop and I've warned you. You have a very long history of attacking and belittling other editors who disagree with your point of view. I could so easily attack you personally but I won't. Back to content. There have been so many editors on this talk page and other talk pages who have commented on this topic of political alignment and have strongly disagreed with us including any political alignment in the lede and/or the infobox. There is definitely no consensus whatsoever on doing so. Are you supportive of Aquillion's proposal or not? Merphee (talk) 04:46, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
Again, can someone/anyone here address the question of what right wing and left wing and centrist and liberal and conservative and so on means in different countries and to different people. We must consider our readers from all over the world, not just in Australia. I think we would need to be defining these abstract terms for pur readers and what they mean in Australia compared to what they mean in the USA for instance rather than just state centre right or centre left. Are we talking about political party alignment or ideology or what? Maybe it would be better to be saying The Australian supports the Coalition or the ALP or the Greens but it might change next year. I mean what the f... are we actually trying to say here? Merphee (talk) 04:51, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
@Merphee: unneeded discourse, obviously a link to a page that describes the leaning would be appropriate from the lead if its not in the infobox Gnangarra 04:54, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
Agree. Also right wing or left wing politics are well understood regardless of nationality. Notice that the wikipedia articles Right-wing politics and Left-wing politics are not rewritten for all nationalities, these are not abstract concepts they are universally understood. Hughesdarren (talk) 05:01, 17 March 2019 (UTC)

Fair enough. Merphee (talk) 05:18, 17 March 2019 (UTC)

You forgot your apology to me for saying exactly what three other editors have now said and that you have agreed with. HiLo48 (talk) 06:10, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
HiLo48 it's an effort as I'm sure it has been with so very many other editors that have had to deal with your abrasive uncivil conduct, not to give you a mouth full to be honest and make things really personal with you and your comments. But given no administrator seems to give a shit how uncivil you are I will certainly give it back to you pretty soon as hard as you dish it out champ. Merphee (talk) 06:22, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
But I was right, and you were wrong. For the past nine months. You seem incapable of acknowledging that reality. That obviously leads to the abuse you throw at me. HiLo48 (talk) 06:28, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
You're a funny little person. Childlike I'd say in your comments. You're like a primary school teacher I know who is as immature as the kids he teaches. They call it transference I think. lol. Now back to this 'content' dispute are you on board with Aquillion's proposal or not? And no one is saying right wing, FYI. Because the reliable sources don't say that. And we need to go by what the reliable sources say. Some reliable sources say centrist. Some say centre-right. Some say right. There's a few that have even said left wing a couple of decades ago when Rupert Murdoch was handing out his newspaper's highest annual award to ALP left wing politicians! So we need to go by what the sources tell us silly. Merphee (talk) 06:47, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
Twenty years ago is clearly irrelevant. My personal position remains that it is bloody obvious to all broadly-informed Australian readers that The Australian is right wing. That's what should be in both the Infobox and the text. Anything less than that is hiding factual and useful information from readers. I am happy that, finally, after nine months, you are willing to concede that the word "right" in some from can be used for the paper. That is what I have been trying to convince you of for all that time. Had you not been so stubborn for so long, insisting that it is not right wing, I may not have had the ammunition to "belittle" you, if you really think promoting a truthful position to a denier is belittling. As for what goes in the article, remember that consensus does not mean the same thing as unanimity. My position is above. I shall let other editors decide what to do with it. HiLo48 (talk) 07:15, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
Blah, blah, blah. So that means no you're not supportive of Aquillion's proposal. Fine. And there has been a stack of other editors who, for very good reasons has suggested we just leave this subjective and supposed political label out of the infobox and the lede. I mean some sources say centrist, some say centre right. Some say right. Some have even said left wing as in support of ALP left wing governments in times gone by. Given this conflict has apparently been going on for over 10 years now with no consensus reached, leaving a unitary data point / 'label' out of the lede and infobox seems the most stable solution. Merphee (talk) 07:37, 17 March 2019 (UTC) 
...and the one that would perfectly suit the editor who is only here because nine months ago I dared to point out that The Australian is generally seen a right wing paper, and who neither knew that, nor wanted to believe it. HiLo48 (talk) 02:09, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
Merphee, it sounds like you're agreeing that the paper is considered centre-right to right wing in 2019. Can you show us sources that consider it currently centrist? Onetwothreeip (talk) 03:33, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
Nobody cares what is "bloody obvious", HiLo. Get some sources to support a political viewpoint section in the body of the article, and we can then use that to put something in the lede. If we can all agree on it. As per wikiprocedure. Quit yapping here, get to work. --Pete (talk) 06:56, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
Highly uncivil, Skyring. Onetwothreeip (talk) 07:09, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
Pete, I have made my point, AND defended myself against nine months of attacks from another editor who somehow didn't know The Australian was right wing, and still hates me for pointing it out, even though he has now accepted the truth of what I said, but won't admit it in so many words. I think I had a right to defend myself. My position is clear. Wikipedia doesn't require everyone to agree, and I will never agree to leaving the paper's political leaning out of the article. The rest of you can deal with that, I'm sure. HiLo48 (talk) 07:13, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
Pete is just frustrated like the other 10 or so editors including myself that have commented on this ridiculous issue and have opposed putting any single, subjective label of supposed political alignment in the lede or the infobox. As far as being uncivil, you've got to be kidding Onetwothreeip and HiLo48. I laughed so hard I fell off my chair at that one after the amount of abuse and personal attacks you have both made. Anyway back to the content issue. You have NO QUALITY RELIABLE SOURCES HiLo48 or Onetwothreeip to paint The Australian to our readers how you want to paint it. Full stop. Doesn't matter what you both think or your personal views are about the newspaper. The only thing that matters at Wikipedia are quality reliable sources. And the sources provided thus far are crap, quite frankly. And even then some say centrist, some say right, some say centre-right and some say the Australian has supported ALP (left wing) governments in the past. Pleae let it go and just move on. This is highly disruptive and there is definitely no consensus apart from leaving it out. Merphee (talk) 09:21, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
As you have already been asked, please provide the sources that say centrist. (And forget the past. It's bloody irrelevant!!!!!) HiLo48 (talk) 11:16, 18 March 2019 (UTC)

───────────────────────── HiLo48, those who learn from history are doomed to repeat it? cygnis insignis 12:50, 18 March 2019 (UTC)

HiLo48 You're the only one who views the history as irrelevant. We're going in circles. Let it go. Merphee (talk) 13:29, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
We can write about the history of The Australian if you like. It would be of some interest to some people. It would take some work to do it in a thorough and meaningful way. I can provide some OR that in the 1960s The Australian was a major part of my political awakening because it told the truth about the Vietnam War. It was definitely leftist in those days. Research would easily confirm that reality. However, it's the current political position of the paper that the vast majority of readers will be interested in, and is far more important now. Oh, and Merphee, , please provide the sources that say it's centrist. HiLo48 (talk) 20:50, 18 March 2019 (UTC)

I'm finding it hard to believe that Merphee and Cygnis insignis don't understand that HiLo48 and myself are saying that only the current position of the newspaper is right wing. Instead we keep hearing about how history is important but that is not relevant to the current position. There are several sources in the article that indicate that the newspaper is right wing, and there are no sources either in the article or in the talk page that call the newspaper left wing or centrist. Can we all move on now? The newspaper is right wing, let's just accept that and move on from there. Historically it's had different views and this is reflected in the article. Onetwothreeip (talk) 21:08, 18 March 2019 (UTC)

No, 'you think' the Australian is right wing. That is not what the reliable sources say and we go by reliable sources. And history and currency does matter in our articles as Gnangarra and other editors have explained. Please Wikipedia:Drop the stick and back slowly away from the horse carcass now this is very disruptive. Merphee (talk) 21:34, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
Then show us one single source that says The Australian isn't right wing, in the last few years. Nobody is saying that the history of the newspaper shouldn't be reflected in the article, and you obviously know that. This is entirely about the current position. Again, show us a single source that says The Australian isn't currently right wing. Onetwothreeip (talk) 21:41, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
There have been many sources provided to you Onetwothreeip, but you have ignored them and refused to allow them into the article. There is no consensus for how you want to paint The australian. I am becoming increasingly concerned that the article is extremely biased with cherry picked low quality sources used and has become one of Wikipedia's Wikipedia:Coatrack articles We need to ensure the article complies with our policy Wikipedia:Neutral point of view. It does not matter how strong an editor 'feels' about something or how strong their personal opinion is about a topic as you and HiLo48 obviously do. Our articles need to be balanced. I do not believe the current section on political alignment is balanced. Merphee (talk) 22:26, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
Merphee, this is simple. Right now you need to provide just one high quality, independent source that says The Australian is centrist. You are the only editor claiming it is, so YOU need to show us a source. HiLo48 (talk) 22:32, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
As Pete and others have asked you can you provide one high quality reliable source that actually states The Australian is a right wing newspaper? And not a low quality biased source such as an opinion piece . I refer to Wikipedia:Reliable sources. This is a very contentious point of view you are both trying to shove into the article with no high quality reliable source. Have you got any empirical data on this or any studies? Is there any academic consensus on this contentious topic? If it was so obvious as you say, surely you could provide a number of high quality reliable sources which state 'The Australian is in 2019 a right wing newspaper' or even one high quality and neutral reliable source which states that as a fact? Merphee (talk) 22:56, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
You see, this is where we differ here. I am not wanting to make a statement of fact that The Australian is a centrist newspaper or centre-left or right or left. However you and Onetwothreeip want to be stating as a fact The Australian is a right-wing newspaper, without any quality reliable source to support that supposed fact of yours. I realise you both may personally believe that, but then many other people don't personally believe that. It just doesn't matter what individuals personally believe. That's not how Wikipedia works. I have stated the sources used in this article on defining the newspaper's political alignment are low quality reliable sources. We cannot be making such massive statements of fact based on low quality sources. Most of the crap sources currently in the article are drawn mostly from opinions of individual commentators. We cannot rely on opinion pieces to support statements of a fact such as what you want us to include. That is just another reason on a long list of reasons so many editors have provided you both, as to why we cannot possibly state as a fact in the lede or the infobox that The Australian i a right wing newspaper. Merphee (talk) 23:20, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
"We cannot rely on opinion pieces..." Actually, we can and we do, in many articles, so long the opinions are those of reliable, respected commentators, and we attribute them appropriately. Right now you need to provide just one high quality, independent source that says The Australian is centrist. HiLo48 (talk) 00:09, 19 March 2019 (UTC)
PKB, HiLo. How are you in a position to demand good sources from others when the only source you provide is between your ears? Be fair.
One thing I am not seeing is any consensus. You all know the way forward, and it has been outlined several times now. Put your best sources in the article not the talk page. --Pete (talk) 00:16, 19 March 2019 (UTC)
All editors here but one have agreed that The Australian is right wing. If Merphee wasn't here, the article would have had a WP:BLUE addition saying just that long ago. HiLo48 (talk) 00:24, 19 March 2019 (UTC)
Can you see the point I'm making about sources? You demand high-quality sources, while at the same time, you refuse to supply any yourself. It doesn't really matter if the opinions you pull out of your bum match reality or not. We have a long-established policy of using checkable sources to back up our material, and if you insist on your opinions - right or wrong - being used as a basis for supplying our readers with information, you have missed the point entirely. --Pete (talk) 00:54, 19 March 2019 (UTC)
Back-and-forth between HiLo48 and Merphee ~Awilley (talk) 01:37, 23 March 2019 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
You're not still using your ridiculous WP:BLUE argument are you HilO48? Seriously? You ignore all of the other editors comments based on policy and only go on your own self belief with impunity. You are the one who is saying as a matter of fact that The Australian newspaper in 2019 is a right wing newspaper. Have you got a good quality reliable source for that? Not an 'opinion piece' but a high quality source that actually states The Australian newspaper is a right wing newspaper. Simple. Provide it or drop the frigging stick and move on. There is NO CONSENSUS here for what you and Onetwothreeip want to do. NONE! Merphee (talk) 01:50, 19 March 2019 (UTC)
The Australian newspaper in 2019 IS a right wing newspaper. Anyone who doesn't think so is deluded. Or extremely ignorant in the literal sense of that word. HiLo48 (talk) 07:10, 19 March 2019 (UTC)

Pete, and Merphee - You two have made this discussion toxic. I have said my piece. Goodbye. HiLo48 (talk) 03:17, 19 March 2019 (UTC)

@Merphee: There have been many sources provided to you Onetwothreeip. Then show us where these sources are provided that say The Australian is centrist or left wing or centre-left. Here are three reliable sources that describe the newspaper as right wing. Onetwothreeip (talk) 03:43, 19 March 2019 (UTC)

@Onetwothreeip: I'm not sure what part of "there is no consensus" you don't understand. But there is NO CONSENSUS. That means the changes don't happen. Full stop. Let it go. Move on. This very disruptive. I refuse to be part of this circular crap with you any longer and take space up on the talk page. I'm convinced you are just taking the piss now too! Merphee (talk) 04:14, 19 March 2019 (UTC)
Hilo48, let it go and stop being so uncivil toward other editors who are just trying to follow policy in our editing. You don't seem to get how this consensus building process works and us needing to use high quality sources despite us explaining it several times. So there's no point discussing this anymore. There is certainly no consensus for the edits you and Onetwothreeip want to make and you were both unwilling to engage with everyone on a very reasonable proposal that Aquillion suggested a few days ago. Just as I said to onetwothreeip I'm convinced now that you've purposely wasted everyone's time here and you are taking the piss which I don't appreciate as I genuinely tried to resolve this issue. In fact, I offered several times for us to use dispute resolution which you both ignored but continued on with this ridiculous circular crap taking up space on the article talk page. I've lost my patience with you. Wikipedia:Drop the stick and back slowly away from the horse carcass Merphee (talk) 10:42, 19 March 2019 (UTC)
After the mess you made of my Talk Page I'm tempted to report you for incompetence. A simple apology for your stuffup might have helped, but if you made one I must have missed it. HiLo48 (talk) 07:29, 20 March 2019 (UTC)

@Merphee: So where are the sources that say The Australian is currently a left wing or centre left or centrist publication? Onetwothreeip (talk) 08:06, 20 March 2019 (UTC)

Cherry picking remarks from a long and repetitive conversation:
  • You said the owner is more important than the editor in chief. The owner has been Murdoch for the entire life of the newspaper.
  • Someone pointed out that many citations form the newspaper link to this article. That means that whatever is in the infobox and lead will be seen by people following links from references of any age, not just recent ones.
  • The Australian supported the election of Whitlam, that's at least one data point for it being left-wing. I suspect that more often, it could be described as "anti-government", regardless of which party is presently in power. Why not put more effort into adding to the text of the article, instead of continuing to argue about the infobox? The IB should summarise the lead, should summarise the article. Let's expand the article to provide a better breadth of text to try to summarise. --Scott Davis Talk 14:20, 20 March 2019 (UTC)
Whitlam was 47 years ago. Completely irrelevant to the leanings of the paper today. "Anti-government" is ridiculous. Check its editorial advice at elections, and tell me how many times in the past 30 years it has told its readers to vote against the Liberal Party. It would be a very small number. HiLo48 (talk) 22:48, 20 March 2019 (UTC)

@Merphee: You want sources? How about Roy Morgan Research, good enough for you? See this press Release. - Nick Thorne talk 23:35, 20 March 2019 (UTC)

@HiLo48: Yes, Whitlam was a long time ago. That doesn't mean there won't be people following links to The Australian from citations for newspapers from that era. It also wasn't me that asserted that the leaning of the paper followed its owner more than its Editor-in-Chief. The infobox has to summarise the entire article. If there isn't a single position over the life of the newspaper, it needs qualification in the infobox with more detail in the text. So far, nobody (me included) has felt inclined to write about the political positions of the newspaper over time. --Scott Davis Talk 00:38, 21 March 2019 (UTC)
@ScottDavis: I said currently left wing, centre-left or centrist. Supporting Whitlam in 1972 is very much historical and not current, and also doesn't prove that the newspaper was in any way left wing even in 1972. I have asked Merphee, and it is open to others, specifically about the current orientation of the newspaper and sources that indicate it is currently left wing, centre-left or centrist. Infoboxes rarely characterise historical views, they document present views. Certainly the changing orientation of the newspaper should be documented in the body of the text, but the newspaper is certainly placed in the right of the political spectrum today, which is what the infobox is there to summarise. Onetwothreeip (talk) 02:24, 21 March 2019 (UTC)
That's as may be, but you're not going to get to the infobox from the talk page, and you aren't going to get there by edit-warring over it. Follow wikiprocess instead, hmmmmm? --Pete (talk) 03:19, 21 March 2019 (UTC)
Let all ignore the infobox and the lead section (with no mention of a position on a one-dimensional scale), and write some meaningful content for the body of the article. Once there is a sizable content covering both present and past positions on the major topics of the day, then we can revisit a summary for the lead, and an even tighter summary for the infobox. Whether that says leftish for these issues and rightish for those issues, or leftish prior to the mid 1970s and rightish since then, or something else can be determined once there is more content available to review and summarise, such as how and why it changed position (for example did The Australian move, or did "the centre" move?). --Scott DavisTalk 11:57, 21 March 2019 (UTC)
There's a bit of a false dichotomy there. Improving the body of the article is no barrier to restoring a simple statement (which is well-supported by the cites presently in the article) to the infobox. "Merphee doesn't like it" is not a sufficient reason for removal. Pinkbeast (talk) 21:55, 21 March 2019 (UTC)
I totally agree with Scott Davis, Pete and about 10 other editors who all have said this highly subjective label is not to be included in the infobox or lede. There is clearly no consensus either. Rather than causing further disruption and as I've suggested before Wikipedia:Dispute resolution or Wikipedia:Drop the stick and back slowly away from the horse carcass is required to resolve this. Merphee (talk) 00:04, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
Off-topic bickering ~Awilley (talk) 01:37, 23 March 2019 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
You hypocrite. You were the one who picked up this stick in the first place. If you really believed in dropping the stick, you would be long gone. So, hypocrisy, combined with total unwillingness to even accept you stuffed up my Talk page, let alone apologise. You have neither principles nor manners. HiLo48 (talk) 03:27, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
Oh, nice. Very mature. And by the way it is "you hypocrite" not "You hypocritic" like you just wrote HiLo48. Anyway again I must reiterate, there is absolutely no consensus here and as I've suggested before Wikipedia:Dispute resolution or Wikipedia:Drop the stick and back slowly away from the horse carcass are the only 2 options left to resolve this. Merphee (talk) 05:06, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
Whoops. Sorry. Thank you for pointing out my typing error. I have fixed it. (There's an example of how to admit to a mistake and apologise. Do try to learn from it.)
You were the one who picked up this stick in the first place. If you really believed in dropping the stick, you would be long gone. So, hypocrisy, combined with total unwillingness to even accept you stuffed up my Talk page, let alone apologise. You have neither principles nor manners. HiLo48 (talk) 05:11, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Dispute resolution or Wikipedia:Drop the stick and back slowly away from the horse carcass Merphee (talk) 05:14, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
And I agree with Pinkbeast, HiLo48 and 100 other editors who have all said that we should call The Australian what it is! There is no point to carry on as if there is a consensus that thinks The Australian is not considered right wing by reliable sources, or that the infobox shouldn't describe current political orientation. Now with regards to the sort of thing we're hearing from Skyring, I can't recall a time when there was some extra requirement in order to put something in the infobox, but that seems simple enough. All we would then need is a statement about as simple as "The Australian is generally considered right wing.[1][2][3]" and then suddenly it's a good enough fact for the infobox. Personally I would much rather we had it detailed in the body of the article than have it in the lead or infobox, but these are not mutually exclusive. What I have found more important though is removing the bias where elements of the article were selectively added in to make the newspaper seem not as ideological as it is. Onetwothreeip (talk) 05:15, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
Yes. HiLo48 (talk) 05:18, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
Neither of you have answered the question. Why don't you do what policy tells us to do and initiate Wikipedia:Dispute resolution. One thing for sure is that there is zero consensus here for the changes you want to make and you have both made no attempt to be involved in any resolution process or proposals editors like Aquillion have made. All you do is avoid other editors attempts to resolve this in the way we are supposed to. That is through dispute resolution. Merphee (talk) 05:39, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
I keep hoping for sanity here. But I guess your behaviour over the past 48 hours has proven that's unlikely. I'm a positive thinker though. HiLo48 (talk) 05:41, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
What is the question? Now, where are these sources that say The Australian isn't right wing? Onetwothreeip (talk) 06:07, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
That is the question. It seems you've been asking it for a few days now. HiLo48 (talk) 06:36, 22 March 2019 (UTC)

───────────────────────── Why don't you do what policy tells us to do and initiate Wikipedia:Dispute resolution to resolve this impasse. There is no consensus for the changes you want make? Merphee (talk) 06:45, 22 March 2019 (UTC)

Off-topic back-and-forth ~Awilley (talk) 01:37, 23 March 2019 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
Consensus does not require unanimity. Your rudeness and other behaviour recently make your thoughts rather irrelevant. HiLo48 (talk) 06:50, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
Please focus on content only and initiate Wikipedia:Dispute resolution to resolve this impasse or move on. Please also follow policy. This behaviour is highly disruptive. Merphee (talk) 06:55, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
Your stuffup on my Talk page was clearly disruptive, and your refusal to apologise lowers my interest in doing anything you want. HiLo48 (talk) 09:05, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
None of you have bothered to write a new section for the article about its political position. Most of the so-called WP:BLUE references have been from other newspapers which probably have Spin motives to label The Australian. Someone here claimed that it follows its owner, but Rupert Murdoch ("Red Rupert") does not appear to have always only been "right wing" by any stretch. None of the other major newspapers in Australia seem to have a political position in their infobox or lead either. Let's focus on adding content, not arguing about labels. Incidentally, there are four references in the lead of Sky for the sentence that says it is blue, hence why that fact need not be cited in other articles. --Scott Davis Talk 10:15, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
Oh, FFS, why do those who seem to want to hide The Australian's obvious leanings leap to this historical nonsense? When I go to the article on a journal I'm not familiar with, to find out it's political leanings, I'm NEVER trying to find out what they were 40 years ago. It's the current position I seek. HiLo48 (talk) 10:24, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
I believe what the esteemed brain genius is trying to say is indeed that because he has heard some people say the newspapers articles represent the views of its owners, it must then represent the views its owner had... over 60 years ago (before the newspaper was even founded). Damn, you can't fault that logic. Clearly The Australian is a centrist, if not hard communist, newspaper. And we also need to cite that the sky is blue (???) PeterTheFourth (talk) 11:33, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
If I am "the esteemed brain genius" I am trying to say that we should not put the cart before the horse. Write some content about the political position of The Australian. If that content can be sensibly summarised in a sentence or paragraph, do so in the lead. If that paragraph can be accurately summarised into a few words, then they can be in the infobox. If it turns out to be more complex than can be summarised into a few words, then don't try. Also, don't write the summary first then expand it into so detail of you ever get round to it. For media that is cited over its entire life as sources for other Wikipedia articles, it is not "historical nonsense", it is part of the necessary background to those citations. --Scott Davis Talk 12:49, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
But it's not complex. The Australian simply IS a right wing publication. Only one editor is denying that. And he came to Wikipedia nine months ago not even being aware that anyone thought it was right wing. His views are so far from mainstream, it's perfectly valid to ignore them. They are not relevant to informed consensus. Consensus already exists here. HiLo48 (talk) 18:24, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
Just because you SAY the newspaper is supposedly that way, does not make it so HiLo48. Don't you see. We need reliable sources and high quality ones that all consistently state exactly that very clearly. And unfortunately some sources say centrist, or swings both ways, some say centre-right, same say right wing. Others say they have been in support of ALP (left wing) policies and governments and and in recent decades too. We cannot just go with one of those single descriptors. And HiLo48 there sure hasn't been only one editor opposed to the edits you want to make and you know it. There is no consensus here. And you keep ignoring the options of dispute resolution or to drop the stick. I think admins need to get involved if not and protect this page indef if no resolution is reached. And by the way HiLo48 stop the focus on personal stuff and focus on content and adding well sourced content to the body of the article only please. Merphee (talk) 20:59, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
From Merphee - "Just because you SAY the newspaper is supposedly that way..." It's not just me saying The Australian is right wing. It's everyone but you. That's a consensus. Consensus does not require unanimity. HiLo48 (talk) 00:09, 23 March 2019 (UTC)
Found them! Here are three reliable sources that describe the newspaper as right wing. Any sources saying that The Australian have supported the ALP are also correct, but that was relatively a long time ago and not present. Again, this is more important as context throughout the article, and not only an infobox reference. If you can't produce the sources that say The Australian is left wing, we'll have to assume there aren't any, since we can't just take your word for it. Onetwothreeip (talk) 22:58, 22 March 2019 (UTC)


There's quite a bit of growing animosity around the topic-in-question. I think we need John Bercow, to step in. GoodDay (talk) 16:54, 22 March 2019 (UTC)

Certainly this section needs a split. Onetwothreeip (talk) 22:58, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
Ya'll should consider an Rfc. There's certainly no agreement among you, on the topic-in-question. GoodDay (talk) 00:36, 28 March 2019 (UTC)
GoodDay, I think that's a bloody good suggestion, there is sure no consensus as to the changes Onetwothreeip/PeterTheFourth/Pinkbeast want to make. Could you make that suggestion at the base of the article as its got lost in translation way up here? Merphee (talk) 06:18, 28 March 2019 (UTC)


I would prefer that each user outline at what point they will personally be satisfied. Add yourself to list if you like cygnis insignis 12:49, 26 March 2019 (UTC)

  • self: that that article sections are improved and an agreeable summary of that appears in the lead section. No item should appear in the infobox on Political affiliations, and edits in support of that goal should not appear in the article. cygnis insignis 12:49, 26 March 2019 (UTC)
  • @HiLo48: You have demanded apologies from at least one user. Please specify those you feel have insulted you. cygnis insignis 12:49, 26 March 2019 (UTC)
With Pete and Merphee here, and no strong Admin action on the horizon, there is no point. Goodbye. HiLo48 (talk)
lol. HiLo48 so much for Rupert never backing left-wing ALP governments eh! Merphee (talk) 04:37, 1 April 2019 (UTC)
• Consensus rather than edit-warring. Clearly there is no consensus for anything superficial. If one of the edit-warriors tries to pull a swifty by putting in some fake summary and then using that to put something in the lede material, that's not going to work any better than doing it directly. There are enough eyes on this article for that sort of thoughtless trick to be seen through. --Pete (talk) 17:21, 26 March 2019 (UTC)
Exactly. Consensus not aggressive edit warring. There is currently no consensus whatsoever for such original research. The summary is fake. It is not based on quality reliable sources. It is against Wikipedia policy. Merphee (talk) 21:44, 26 March 2019 (UTC)
It also doesn't have to be a summary of the section. It is a summary of the present orientation of the newspaper. Onetwothreeip (talk) 21:46, 26 March 2019 (UTC)
Onetwothreeip Stop the edit warring and engage with other editors in a civil manner. You do not own our article. Follow policy and be decent toward other editors instead of trying to ram your edits into the article. It's not on! Merphee (talk) 21:51, 26 March 2019 (UTC)
Agreed, it isn't a summary of the whole section. But it's not a summary of the political orientation section. It's a summary of three opinions, which you quote, ignoring all other longstanding material in the section! It is a shoddy evasion of proper wikiprocess. If you are not interested in writing an encyclopaedia, but instead want to just argue about politics, why not find a better place to do it? --Pete (talk) 23:15, 26 March 2019 (UTC)
No, it's a summary of the newspaper itself. Likewise if you or others want to find some other way to vent frustration against right wing politics, Wikipedia isn't the place for that. Onetwothreeip (talk) 02:11, 27 March 2019 (UTC)
"vent frustration against right wing policies"??? How can anything I've said here be regarded as that? I'm concerned about getting our sourcing right, not synthesising material to come up with unsourced material, and not spending time edit-warring about trivial things instead of doing the work. Every time this article has come up on my watchlist, there's a bunch of idlers throwing rocks at each other, and I'm getting sick of it. Go stand on some other street corner, or get your heads down and do some research and copywriting. --Pete (talk) 21:15, 27 March 2019 (UTC)
That's absurd. In the last five years, you've only made five edits, all reverts. I've been actually contributing to the article. I would expect such a belligerent comment would come from someone who has actually done what they are telling others to do. Why don't you take your own advice? Onetwothreeip (talk) 21:35, 27 March 2019 (UTC)

Editorial/opinion section[edit]

I recently wrote this into the article and it was reverted: Former editor-in-chief Chris Mitchell said in 2006 that the editorial and op-ed pages of the newspaper are centre-right but "comfortable with a mainstream Labor prime minister Kevin Rudd". In 2007 Crikey described the newspaper as generally in support of the Liberal Party and the then-Coalition government, but has pragmatically supported Labor governments in the past as well.

The Australian presents varying views on climate change, publishing articles by those who disagree with the scientific consensus such as Ian Plimer, and authors who agree with the scientific consensus such as Tim Flannery and Bjørn Lomborg. A 2011 study of the previous seven years of articles claimed that four out of every five articles were opposed to taking action on climate change.

Can anybody outline why they disagree with any of this? Onetwothreeip (talk) 21:45, 26 March 2019 (UTC)

We have already told you why. I also suggest you stop edit warring and tag teaming. You need to engage here with other editors in a civil manner please. Merphee (talk) 21:56, 26 March 2019 (UTC)
I mentioned up before that I disagree with the label "conservative"...Libertarian, business focussed yes, centre right, ok. But The Australian is a pretty long time supporter of republicanism, plus a few other policies that are the antitheses of the definitions of "conservative" linked to in that wikipedia article.
The crikey source is actually pretty careful not to label them with any particular tags; I think the wording In 2007 Crikey described the paper as "a measure of the Murdoch pragmatism". While it helped "define Paul Keatings 'big picture'... it "provided both turf and fuel for the culture warriors of the Right" during the Howard government. - is a better summarisation of what it says. Curdle (talk) 06:50, 27 March 2019 (UTC)
You might have a good argument but ultimately it's up to sources to define if The Australian is conservative or libertarian or not. I'm sure you would agree that reliable sources have called them both. I think there are examples of conservatives who support republicanism, I think Greg Sheridan is included in that if I'm not mistaken. The newspaper also has people who advocate monarchist positions. Either way it's not for us to judge. Onetwothreeip (talk) 07:44, 27 March 2019 (UTC)
But of the three sources you are using, the monthly does not use the word "conservative" at all; The conversation article says merely "becoming more conservative" without saying that that is what it is, (all the other allusions are to either completely different papers, or the more tabloid newscorp ones, and the article is considerably firmer in their use of the word to describe them)
The Guardian is slightly stronger, saying "often knee-jerk conservative ideology that the Oz trumpets so readily." but then goes on to mention the "thundering of the neoconservatives"...who are rather different kettles of fish from your standard conservatives. Plus it explicitly links this to the tenure of Chris Mitchell. I don't think its enough to support that particular label.Curdle (talk) 08:34, 27 March 2019 (UTC)
Should we add the Laurie Clancy source to the summary as well? In the section we quote that saying the newspaper "is generally conservative in tone and heavily oriented toward business". I'm not torn if we don't end up using the label 'conservative', it just seemed like a reasonable read of the collection of sources we have when I was trying to write up a summary. PeterTheFourth (talk) 08:52, 27 March 2019 (UTC)
Well, thats still not really enough.."conservative in tone" doesn't equate to a political stance. (which is what is being done when you wikilink "conservative" to our article of the same name) It gives the appearance of confusing a description with an actual political ideology Curdle (talk) 09:15, 27 March 2019 (UTC)
The way they express being more conservative implies that it is conservative, and neoconservative is certainly a subset of conservative. I'm all for finding more sources though, or alternative descriptions of the newspaper. Onetwothreeip (talk) 09:02, 27 March 2019 (UTC)
In all the reading, looking for just such a source, I haven't really been able to find anything that definitively pigeonholes The Australian. Whether that's because the academic sources are just more interested exploring the cause and effect the evolution of the Australian has had on the media, or describing stances on particular issues or they just feel that it cant be labelled, they are generally very reluctant to explicitly assign it. Sources are happy enough to label "newscorp" with an emphasis on the tabloids, but not the Australian, separated from Newscorp. You find themes of pragamatism/ Murdoch's interests, his desire to to use the paper to gain influence, and a general libertarian ethos, but not really anything more specific. If anyone can find something, sure, but until then there just isnt really enough for such a basic description. Curdle (talk) 09:45, 27 March 2019 (UTC)
That's the optimum word here Curdle. "Pigeonhole". Onetwothreeip, you going in search of sources to fit your point of view is coatracking and point of view pushing. This section of the article is a frigging coatrack already but your little summary the 3 of you have shoved into our article is a joke. This is not what the reliable sources say. More to the point history does matter as numerous editors who have commented on this issue have told you and I agree. The only proposal that other editors apart from your team of 3, was Aquillion's proposal. You are breaching our policies. Meanwhile your little summary is in the article against consensus not to include single descriptors. Over time The Australian has supported progressive/left wing policies of varying governments both ALP and Liberal or Coalition. That's what the sources say. You trying to push your point of view via your so called 'summary' into this article is disturbing to say the least and needs to be reverted. As other editors have suggested why not be civil and outline your proposed text here on the talk page before it is pushed into our article so we all can collaboratively work on OUR article. Merphee (talk) 10:36, 27 March 2019 (UTC)
Well, no Merphee, now you are going in the opposite direction. Its a pretty clear stretch to say The Australian has supported anything that could be generally called"left wing" or "progressive" policies at all, at least since 1975. They had a small "l" liberal bent pre 1975, until Murdoch sacked Deamer. And THAT is precisely what the sources say. Curdle (talk) 11:12, 27 March 2019 (UTC)
I said the Australian has supported progressive "policies" from both governments Curdle. Saying the Australian only supports conservative policies is POV pushing. Provide a high quality source then that states that The Australian is generally regarded as conservative? The sources used do not state that. Merphee (talk) 12:32, 27 March 2019 (UTC)
Sorry, I took you saying Over time The Australian has supported progressive/left wing policies of varying governments both ALP and Liberal or Coalition. as saying they supported progressive/left wing policies. I had been arguing against the Australian as being depicted as supporting any party in general or, being described as "conservative" and explained I can't find sources that explicitly says they are, so not sure why you are requesting I produce some? The sources (even the editors of the Australian itself) consistently say centre right and libertarian agenda; both of those rather conflict with either left wing, or progressive, dont they? Curdle (talk) 13:46, 27 March 2019 (UTC)
The sources also lean toward centre-right politics but putting the "centre-right to right-wing politics" as a summary is again a pretty frigging clear stretch. And no one has produced a quality reliable source here that states The Australian is a right-wing newspaper. If no-one can produce these reliable sources and multiple editors have asked for these to be produced then I am going to remove this POV from our article. As a compromise I am willing to leave centre-right politics. But centre-right politics is not right-wing politics. Sources please? Merphee (talk) 12:43, 27 March 2019 (UTC)


Currently we have the - IMHO - unjustified statement that "While The Australian has held a range of views over its history, it is generally regarded as conservative, business focused, and observing centre-right to right-wing views."

Three sources are given to support this:

  1. "Mixed media: how Australia's newspapers became locked in a war of left versus right" - The Conversation. Only one statement in this source mentions The Australian post-1975, and it says nothing about the newspaper's political orientation.
  2. "The decline of the 'Australian'" - The Monthly, July 2014. Here I find only one sentence talking about the orientation of the paper - "it articulates and enables much of the agenda of the right wing of politics (and the present government)" - This is one columnist who admits to having a feud with the editorial staff, and it is five years old.
  3. "Ideology runs rampant at Rupert Murdoch's Australian newspaper" - The Guardian, December 2015. "No matter how well written, no matter how well edited, the paper’s right-wing bias is overwhelming," it says. This is by far the best source, but again, it is the venting opinion of one ex-employee, writing in an outlet I hope we can all accept takes an opposing political stance to The Australian, and it is several years old.

How can we possibly say from these sources that The Australian of 2019 is "generally regarded as conservative, business focused, and observing centre-right to right-wing views."?

And no, it's not a matter of finding a bunch of newer and more explicit sources. To say it is "generally regarded" means we have to have some basis for that "generally". None of the sources say it, which means that the statement is either unsourced, or synthesised and we don't do synthesis. We don't present the dots for our readers and ask them to connect them up for themselves. We find someone who joins the dots and we use them as a source.

For example, maybe we could find three equally useful/useless sources giving a different view and say "While The Australian has held a range of views over its history, it is generally regarded as liberal, socially-focused, and observing centre-left to left-wing views." Am I correct in saying that if we said this in wikivoice, some here would start choking on their noodles? --Pete (talk) 21:54, 27 March 2019 (UTC)

Of course Pete. I totally agree with your policy based logic. As this section is synthesised I've pulled it. It's not helpful to be fuelling the fire here and jam in some ridiculous summary while we are in the middle of heated discussion. Merphee (talk) 21:58, 27 March 2019 (UTC)
If it was as well sourced as that, then it should be in the article. You are more than welcome to add content to the article. The article from The Conversation considers The Australia to be on the right wing side of what they perceive as a media war. The articles from The Monthly and The Guardian are pretty clear that The Australian is right wing, and we don't normally take into consideration who the writers of those articles are, but being a former employee of the newspaper in question obviously makes that more reliable if we were to consider that. What is relevant is the publication itself, since it is their reputation, unless otherwise stated. These are obviously not the only sources that we could use, so I'm more than okay with other sources being considered to support the statements. Onetwothreeip (talk) 23:07, 27 March 2019 (UTC)
I find your assertion that the opinions of disgruntled ex-employees are more reliable hard to swallow. I'd be interested to hear your comments on the other points raised, 123. --Pete (talk) 00:57, 28 March 2019 (UTC)
The myth of the "disgruntled ex-employee" has a long history as a pernicious smear against anyone who has ever worked anywhere. By accepting that terminology you are accepting a certain point of view and that does not belong here. We are not using people's personal experiences and opinions in this article, either yours or those of the sources, we are taking the facts from the sources. While Merphee has claimed that we shouldn't be contributing to the article while having "heated discussion", we really don't need heated discussion while trying to create content. Onetwothreeip (talk) 01:43, 28 March 2019 (UTC)
In the sources given, the ex-employees lay out their differences with their former employer. I suggest that in such cases credibility and motivation are issues worth considering. Again, 123, are you able to address the points made above regarding wikiprocedure, or are you happy to avoid discussion on policy? --Pete (talk) 02:02, 28 March 2019 (UTC)
If you want to raise with me issues of policy then by all means raise them. I have not seen any indication that these sources are at all not credible, so you will have to raise those concerns specifically since otherwise they are from what we regard as reliable sources and we would take them seriously. Onetwothreeip (talk) 02:08, 28 March 2019 (UTC)
They have been raised above. Please address them. --Pete (talk) 02:17, 28 March 2019 (UTC)
Of course the policy concerns raised have not been addressed. And centre-right politics is not the same as right-wing politics is not the same as far-right politics. That is why we have separate articles for each! Sources generally support centre-right politics only. You have yet to provide a single high quality reliable source which unequivocally states, The Australian newspaper is a right-wing publication. Have the 3 of you got one? Merphee (talk) 06:23, 28 March 2019 (UTC)
Better than that, one of us have three. It's the three that I used for the sentence, one each from The Monthly, The Guardian, and The Conversation. You're more than invited to find more and better sources if you'd like. The reason we have used centre-right and right wing is because the newspaper encompasses a broad range of right wing opinion. Onetwothreeip (talk) 06:27, 28 March 2019 (UTC)
Onetwothreeip can you please provide the exact sentence and in which source that explicitly states, the Australian is a right-wing newspaper? And have you got any quality reliable secondary sources? That would help. Relying on one single writer's opinion in an opinion piece just isn't good enough for such a big bold edit you're trying to make about the supposed political bias of the country's largest newspaper. And can please respect the Wikipedia:BOLD, revert, discuss cycle with your bold edit instead of trying to push it into our article as Pete has also asked you to do. We are trying to respectfully discuss with you what you want to put into our article. That would help avoid edit warring. That goes for the other 2 team members PeterTheFourth and Pinkbeast too.Merphee (talk) 07:09, 28 March 2019 (UTC)
I would be happy to go into that detail, if you withdraw your accusation of tag teaming. It's completely untrue and unfounded. Onetwothreeip (talk) 07:18, 28 March 2019 (UTC)
The observation has been made by 3 editors onetwothreeip and sure is not "unfounded". In fact, there is a wealth of evidence. Now stop deflecting and focus on sources please and my specific question. Also as Pete told you, follow the Wikipedia:BOLD, revert, discuss cycle please. Will you read it please and agree not to push your bold edit into the article while we are trying to discuss what you are wanting to put in our article. It is very uncivil. Merphee (talk) 07:37, 28 March 2019 (UTC) 
Funny, it was 4 last time you told this lie. When are you going to produce diffs that name me? (Answer: never, because you were lying.) Pinkbeast (talk) 07:41, 28 March 2019 (UTC)
You're accusing me and others of meatpuppetry when you accuse us of tag teaming or acting as any kind of team, which is very serious. If you simply mean that several editors are acting in a similar way then that's not tag teaming and that's all the more reason to withdraw your accusation. Otherwise do show the evidence, or else you are just spreading false rumours. As for the BRD cycle, it has already been discussed. The cycle doesn't go back to discuss just because some has reverted it after a discussion has already been made. I'm always willing to further improve articles but the BRD cycle has concluded for that particular sentence. Onetwothreeip (talk) 08:04, 28 March 2019 (UTC)

Would you like to get some type of Wikipedia:Dispute resolution here? We obviously need resolution and others to help us all here. Your edits have been reverted by multiple editors over the last few days and this is highly disruptive. I'm thinking if not, we obviously need to make a request for the Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee to resolve this serious content dispute. What do you both think? Would either of these proposals to help us resolve this long term content dispute sound reasonable given that you don't want to abide by the BRD cycle either? Merphee (talk) 09:31, 28 March 2019 (UTC)

Longstanding consensus wording[edit]

I think that this statement:

The Australian has been criticised by some media commentators for promoting a right wing agenda, and encouraging political polarisation in Australia.

is a lot easier to sustain, and overcomes the problems raised above. I am happy with this wording, for these sources. --Pete (talk) 01:11, 28 March 2019 (UTC)

This does not summarise the section, the point of a section summary. PeterTheFourth (talk) 01:15, 28 March 2019 (UTC)
The statement does not purport to be a summary. It is, however, accurate and sustained by the sources, which is more than one can say for the wording you support. If you would like to respond to the points I raise above, that would be useful, 4. --Pete (talk) 01:24, 28 March 2019 (UTC)
If your content is not intended to summarise the section and is instead just restating what we already have a second time, it's redundant and useless. PeterTheFourth (talk) 01:27, 28 March 2019 (UTC)
I think you've missed the point. I'm talking about the first sentence in the "Editorial and opinion pages" section, as quoted above, along with my reasons why it is unsuitable. The wording has now been changed by you to "While The Australian has held a range of views over its history, it is generally regarded as conservative, business focused, and observing centre-right to right-wing views", which is still unsupported and inaccurate. Perhaps you'd like to address the points made? --Pete (talk) 01:38, 28 March 2019 (UTC)
I don't think it needs to summarise the section, but that line is a description of The Australian's critics, while I do admit that we can have some space for criticism in the article if it's reasonably supported and contributes to the article. What should be more important is summarising the newspaper itself, and as I have suspected long now, you are really just not liking that this major Australian newspaper is right wing. If there is substantial criticism of their right wing positions then we can have that in the article as well, but that should not be how we objectively present the facts of the newspaper's political orientations. Onetwothreeip (talk) 01:43, 28 March 2019 (UTC)
123, That wording has been present since August 2018, and appears to have consensus. See this diff. It is an accurate representation of tghe sources and I have stated on multiple occasions I have no problem with it. You are attempting to insert another statement purporting to be a summary, using the exact same three sources, and as noted, it is problematic. Your analysis of my personal opinions are laughably wrong. As noted several times here, I stopped taking The Australian several years ago because I felt it had drifted too far to the right. --Pete (talk) 02:14, 28 March 2019 (UTC)
I have never stated that was a summary of the section. I am not against what you have quoted being in the article, so I am part of that consensus. It just should not be used as a substitution for an objective summary of the newspaper. Would you like to provide sources that support your assessment that the newspaper has drifted to the right? Onetwothreeip (talk) 02:18, 28 March 2019 (UTC)
You astonish me. Are you admitting you have no confidence in the sources you yourself have been pushing? No. Don't answer that rhetorical question. Just go and address the points I raised earlier today. Continued prevaricating won't do any job except convince people that you are good at avoiding productive discussion. --Pete (talk) 03:13, 28 March 2019 (UTC)
I have no idea what points you're talking about. You haven't raised them with me. This is not a rhetorical question at all, can you provide sources that support your assessment of the newspaper drifting to the right? I would genuinely like to see those sources and use them in the article. Onetwothreeip (talk) 03:36, 28 March 2019 (UTC)
No idea, eh? Well, they are found in the first comment under the subheading summary above - diff and you responded shortly after - diff. How about you start at the top and work your way down? The Conversation is used as a source to state that The Australian "is generally regarded as conservative, business focused, and observing centre-right to right-wing views." Yet only one statement in this source mentions The Australian post-1975, and it says nothing about the newspaper's political orientation. --Pete (talk) 16:24, 28 March 2019 (UTC)
Obviously Onetwothreeip's synthed summary should have gone. And that section there still needs addressing and other sources brought in that clearly show the opposite to the paper helping to promote a right wing agenda. Merphee (talk) 00:07, 29 March 2019 (UTC)
While I haven't found any sources that explicitly describe the Australian as right wing, as opposed to centre right and libertarian, equally I wasn't able to find any that "clearly show the opposite to the paper helping to promote a right wing agenda". If you can, please by all means post them here.
I was wondering if it would be a good idea to break up the section into time periods, say 1964-1975, 1975 to say 2002 and 2002 to present, perhaps. I noticed that has been done in a few newspaper articles, and it would be a way of marking the changes in editorial direction through time, which really should be done before people start trying to summarise it. In line with this, all statements made about the paper really need to be in chronological order of when they were made; so that particular statement about agendas etc, should be back at the end of the section, as they express views of commentators from 2014-2017 which reflect both previous and present history. Curdle (talk) 08:46, 30 March 2019 (UTC)
That's the whole point you just made Curdle. No editor including Onetwothreeip has found any reliable sources that explicitly describe the Australian as right wing. That's why his little summary was complete and utter SYNTH. However Onetwothreeip, PetertheFourth and Pinkbeast kept on Pushing it into our article despite multiple editors clearly stating it was original research. Merphee (talk) 23:24, 30 March 2019 (UTC)
The last comment wasnt discussing Onetwothreeip, PetertheFourth and Pinkbeast, because as you said, I have already expressed opinions on those particular edits previously in this discussion.
My point was those claims are not the only ones lacking in adequate sourcing. You keep saying things like "and other sources brought in that clearly show the opposite to the paper helping to promote a right wing agenda" without providing any; I havent been able to find any either. The Australian itself has proclaimed it is a polemical newspaper; it is just a reality that there are sources that are highly critical of it. NPOV means recording that criticism when it exists. If there is a weight of criticism, Npov does not demand that every bit of criticism needs to be be joined to some sort of rebuttal, if those rebuttals do not exist; that is just false equivalence. If you have reliable sources, please, produce them and they can go into the article.
You didn't respond to the suggestion of breaking the section up into time periods. Does that mean you agree, dont agree, or have no feelings on the idea? Curdle (talk) 08:14, 31 March 2019 (UTC)
Curdle these editors kept Pushing the point of view that Murdoch only ever backs conservatives. No reliable sources state this explicitly. They also said the Australian is a flat out right-wing newspaper. No quality reliable sources state this. IMO that's POV pushing. You gotta call a spade a spade. It's against our NPOV policy. The Australian backed Kevin Rudd's ALP (left wing) government for f... sake. It awarded its highest Australian of The Year awards to far more ALP (left-wing) politicians and left wing progressives over the decades than conservatives. I mean come on! Merphee (talk) 11:42, 31 March 2019 (UTC)
Well, there may be a point about Murdoch not really supporting Rudd - its on record that Murdoch didnt want to support Rudd for the election until Mitchell talked him round. And one of the articles Aquillion posted above straightout says that Murdochs support of Labour was only ever lukewarm as opposed to his support of Liberals, and goes on to say " in the second half of 2008, Rudd’s relationship with the Murdoch press deteriorated, particularly in regards to The Australian". There's plenty more, you should read it. a crikey ref said about Rudds oz award "The national broadsheet spent 2009 attacking the Government’s handling of the GFC, attacking the need for stimulus packages, attacking the actual spending within the packages – to the extent of soliciting and running every half-baked rumour from a P&C in blue-ribbon Liberal electorates – and airing every possible line critical of the Government" and concluded the award may have been a bizarre way of admitting they may have been wrong to not support him. You can't draw any conclusions regarding whether supporting a party at election time makes the paper left or right, unless the sources make that conclusion..and they don't seem to.
So you cant draw any conclusions from the Australian of the year awards, that would be OR. Unless the sources make the connection, we cannot. Curdle (talk) 13:49, 31 March 2019 (UTC)
True enough regarding the Australian's Australian of he Year Award going mostly to left wing and progressive politicians, innovators and community leaders. Even though it is true, the sources obviously need to reflect that fact. This is the problem with relying on flimsy 'opinion pieces' written by single left wing commentators for our reliable sources as has been done in this currently extremely biased section of our article. And similarly there are no reliable sources to support the synthesised summary which stated The Australian is a conservative right-winged newspaper, original research which is not supported by any reliable sources. As you said Curdle, "Unless the sources make the connection, we cannot". Very true. We also need to view The Australian over its entire history as multiple editors have stated. It seems that The Australian supports left-wing/right-wing governments and policies depending on the editor of the day. Much more so than who owns it. Merphee (talk) 20:16, 31 March 2019 (UTC)
Simply not true that the newspaper supported the Rudd government. Anyone with any memory of 2008 to 2010 would know how that newspaper among others reported the fiscal stimulus. In order to put into the article their support for Labor governments, please provide sources that show this. Onetwothreeip (talk) 00:17, 1 April 2019 (UTC)
Oh dear. Here we go again. @Onetwothreeip: it doesn't matter what YOU THINK. It matters what quality reliable sources say like Not the little 'opinion pieces' masquerading as reliable sources you've provided thus far from single hard left wing writers. Here is just one of the high quality reliable sources clearly, unequivocally stating that The Australian newspaper supported Kevin Rudd's LEFT WINg Labor Party. Merphee (talk) 04:36, 1 April 2019 (UTC)

Quote revert[edit]

this is a bit problematic- we have this Former editor-in-chief Chris Mitchell said in 2006 that the editorial and op-ed pages of the newspaper are centre-right but"comfortable with a mainstream Labor prime minister Kevin Rudd. Mitchell wouldnt have made that quote in 2006, because Rudd wasnt elected until December 2007. (it was originally referenced to a Mediaweek article dated 10 March 2008). To be honest, I'm a bit dubious of that Mediaweek article;it seems impossible to track down either online or in hardcopy, so there is no way to give context to the "comfortable with mainstream Labor prime minister Kevin Rudd"or date it exactly. It also appears to have been first placed in the article around 3 days before its purported publication date. I'm going to revert that particular sentence to how it was before, so at least we arent implying he was prophesying the future.We could just drop the mediaweek quote part altogether; the two probably shouldnt be mashed up together in the first place if they were from two years apart, unless its reworded, or just leave it vague as at present? Not sure what to do. Curdle (talk) 13:18, 27 March 2019 (UTC)

As i understand it, Mediaweek is an industry magazine, generally full of various in-house ad copy and who is appointed where, I have never seen analysis but the ownership has changed a couple of times. I've found back-issues archived before, where it appears as a reference, if there is some [slim] chance a notable fact can be gleaned. Please excuse that I am unwilling to expand the content myself, it would have shortcutted a lot of discussion, but editing any other article is going to be more productive than building content here, like gardening in a battleground. cygnis insignis 15:37, 27 March 2019 (UTC)
The article in question seems to be PR about some new glossy magazine the Australian is incorporating. For example, I went back to double check that ref as it originally was put in, and it would appear Rudd is just a piped link placed by the editor see here so it should read "comfortable with a mainstream Labor prime minister, just as it was quite comfortable with John Howard" As there is no access to the article, no idea if there was context mentioning Rudd, or if it was original research by that editor (who made 19 edits over two months in 2008, then disappeared)- Its not so much the magazine itself, its the way it may have been used I am dubious about. I'm inclined to think pulling it might be the way to go unless someone can dig up a copy. Curdle (talk) 19:54, 27 March 2019 (UTC)
Thanks for doing the research, Curdle. I'm good with pulling it too. PeterTheFourth (talk) 20:32, 27 March 2019 (UTC)
I don't agree that this quote should be pulled and see no good reason for it. Can someone please tell me exactly how thisd source stating The Australian holds more centrist political views is any less credible than some of the crappy 'opinion pieces' used as sources to support that it is more centre-right? Merphee (talk) 21:51, 27 March 2019 (UTC)
I'm going to get some much needed independent fresh eyes and opinions on this source from the community and post it at Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard. This discussion is far too insular and it would benefit the article and our readers if we get some outside help on determining the source's reliability in this context. Any objections? Merphee (talk) 22:03, 27 March 2019 (UTC)
I think while this discussion takes place at the noticeboard the quote should obviously be restored to the article. We need fresh eyes over here that will help us apply our Wikipedia policies as objectively and correctly as possible for the benefit of our readers and the quality of our Encyclopedia. Any objections to restoring it while the community discusses it and if so why please? Merphee (talk) 22:31, 27 March 2019 (UTC)
My concerns are that because of lack of access to the original source, we have no means of knowing how much OR went into it.- we are representing it as a direct quote from Mitchell but is it a sumarisation of a quote or? The first bit about Chris Mitchell describing as centre right is fine..that has been supported by another source (BBC transcript) its the quote muddling up Prime Ministers (possibly Kevin Rudd?) that is a worry.
I tried looking for it at the National library Australia catalogue- it seems no library in Australia has copies [2]. There are some for the American version, but not the Australian one. The website only goes back as far as 2011.Feel free to post at RSN; I posted about a month back at the Australian Noticeboard hoping someone could get some access to the article, or back copies but no luck. The problem is Not that its promotional...its because we have no way of knowing what it actually said. Curdle (talk) 23:06, 27 March 2019 (UTC)
Without any particular reference to Rudd, the "mainstream Labor prime minister" could even have been harking back as far as Whitlam, and if it was in 2006, certainly to Keating. --Scott Davis Talk 00:15, 28 March 2019 (UTC)
I agree ScottDavis. Merphee (talk) 06:11, 28 March 2019 (UTC)

Rfc this current big dispute.[edit]

Ya'll should commence with an Rfc, to help get a consensus on what to put in the article, concerning 'right wing' etc etc, stuff. More eyes, may get you the prize. GoodDay (talk) 20:09, 28 March 2019 (UTC)

I would suggest an RFC that asks "should we use a field in the infobox to express political stance versus a section in the article which discusses the newspaper's political stance"?. If the infobox field view prevails, I think we need to put up an subsequent RFC that the infobox value should be "blah blah blah" and repeat this until we establish what few words can establish a consensus. I would also suggest that we conduct the RFC on the basis of each person gets to express their opinion on the *issue* (and does not say anything about the opinion or behaviours of others) and does NOT comment on the opinions of others expressed as part of the RFC (given the above conversations, I think reacting to one another is not going to achieve anything productive). Obviously we seek a completely disinterested admin (ideally one whose never even heard of the newspaper) to adjudicate the outcome. So there is no misunderstanding of my motivations in this; I will support NOT having an infobox field as I don't believe we will ever achieve consensus on the value to be placed in an infobox field. My motivation is to bring this brawl to an end as I don't think it is in anyway beneficial to the goodwill among Australian editors and therefore reduces the likelihood of people working together productively on good quality Australian content. We are the 5th most used website in both Australia [3] and the world more generally [4]. We have a responsibility to our readers to bring them quality content and that should be more important than our egos and opinions. Kerry (talk) 12:37, 31 March 2019 (UTC)
Thank you Kerry Raymond I totally agree with your well reasoned suggestion for a RFC. We need to resolve this and move on for the sake of our readers and to improve the goodwill between Australian editors. Merphee (talk) 20:07, 31 March 2019 (UTC)
Why would an infobox field be used instead of a section in the article? Nobody has proposed that. Onetwothreeip (talk) 00:13, 1 April 2019 (UTC)
"Infobox field versus section in the article" seems like an obvious false dichotomy. We could have both, or neither. Pinkbeast (talk) 00:26, 1 April 2019 (UTC)
@Kerry Raymond: Was thinking about this last night, and came to the conclusion that there were three main points of contention, that may have to be handled by 3 RFCs, run concurrently, otherwise the problem just keeps moving around.
1."should political alignment be placed in the infobox"
2."should political alignment be mentioned in the lead"
3.Something along the lines of "Should the political alignment be described as Centre right, or Centre right to Right?" Should "Conservative" as a political ideology be used?
It may be a large undertaking, but I think the only way to sort things out is to get some sort of resolution on all three issues. Would it be doable? Curdle (talk) 04:28, 1 April 2019 (UTC)

Not about the RFC.[edit]

Here is a quality independent reliable source explicitly stating The Australian newspaper supported Kevin Rudd's LEFT WING ALP government in the 2007 election. Needs to be integrated. Cannot state The Australian is right wing with no quality reliable sources stating it is and quality reliable sources stating The Australian supported left-wing ALP government in a Federal election. Merphee (talk) 04:35, 1 April 2019 (UTC)

The source does not say that Rudd's Opposition (the article was written before the election that gave him Government) was "LEFT WING". Rudd was a member of the Labor Right - is that left-wing (Wikipedia says "Centre to Centre-left" in the infobox and "centre-right-leaning" in the lead), either in absolute terms or even compared to the Liberal Party Moderate faction? --Scott Davis Talk 05:46, 1 April 2019 (UTC)
This was really directed at Onetwothreeip. The reality is the ALP is a left wing poltical party. No? I mean the Labor Left which has most current opposition ministers as members, is also called the socialist Left faction FFS. The Australian newspaper supported the ALP in the 2007 election over the Coalition government. Period. This source needs to be placed in this section. Has anyone got a problem with using this quality reliable source I've provided in this context? Obviously a little synthesised summary calling The Australian right-wing when it openly supported a left wing political party is a bit 'misleading', putting it very mildly. Merphee (talk) 06:12, 1 April 2019 (UTC)
You do realise the "synthesis" statement you objected to was removed a few days ago? Curdle (talk) 06:17, 1 April 2019 (UTC)
Yes, however Onetwothreeip, PeterTheFourth, Pinkbeast would again revert that I'm sure as soon as the article is not protected. Onetwothreeip made this comment today [5] "Simply not true that the newspaper supported the Rudd government". He then asked for a reliable source. I've provided a quality independent reliable source. So much for these three editors edit warring and constantly placing their little synthesised bit of original research summarising The australian as conservative and right wing hey. Wow. Merphee (talk) 06:30, 1 April 2019 (UTC)
You mean the one time it supported Labor over the Coalition since 1984? Sure its editorial supported Labor in 2007, 1984 and 1983, but the Coalition in 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2004, 2001, 1998, 1996, 1993, 1990, 1987, 1980, 1977 and 1975. Onetwothreeip (talk) 08:21, 1 April 2019 (UTC) said, "Simply not true that the newspaper supported the Rudd government" And I provided an actual independent high quality reliable source which stated precisely that. Please stick to the discussion rather than constantly providing unsourced points of view off the top of your head and trying to Push them into our article. Merphee (talk) 09:06, 1 April 2019 (UTC)
You said the newspaper supported the Rudd government, and that's not true. It supported Rudd when he was opposition leader. Onetwothreeip (talk) 09:33, 1 April 2019 (UTC)
haha...nah...I suggest you read the source again or you're saving face. Either way, it's pretty straight what it says. ".....endorsed Labor at a Federal level". It's going in the article too. It's the highest quality independent reliable source we have! Merphee (talk) 09:43, 1 April 2019 (UTC)
Just so it's clear, what the paper did in 2007 is not necessarily indicative of its stance in 2019. -- Somedifferentstuff (talk) 12:03, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
but its equally important to some to understand its leanings in 2007, 1997, and 2019 as that impacts the story they choose to tell. Gnangarra 13:47, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
That's true, but we wouldn't write in the infobox (say) that The Guardian is published in Manchester. We can keep historical material separate from that about the current state of affairs. Pinkbeast (talk) 15:19, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
And indeed it is simply not true that the newspaper supported the Rudd government; and it simply is true that a cite written the day before the election cannot possibly shed any information on whether the newspaper supported a government formed after the election. Surely the idea that the opposition is not the government is not impossible to grasp. Pinkbeast (talk) 15:19, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
Ya, sure it's not true Pinkbeast. The Crikey source is the highest quality source used in this entire highly biased coat rack section of the article. the rest of the cherry picked sources are from opinion pieces from single writers. In fact, we need to add other material from the source to provide some much needed NPOV. Merphee (talk) 04:58, 13 April 2019 (UTC)