''The Sydney Morning Herald'' (''SMH'') is a daily
compact Compact as used in politics may refer broadly to a pact or treaty; in more specific cases it may refer to: * Interstate compact * Blood compact, an ancient ritual of the Philippines * Compact government, a type of colonial rule utilized in British N ...

newspaper published in
Sydney Sydney ( ; Dharug: ) is the capital city of the state of New South Wales, and the most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Located on Australia's east coast, the metropolis surrounds Port Jackson and extends about on its periphery toward ...

New South Wales New South Wales (abbreviated as NSW) is a state on the east coast of :Australia. It borders Queensland to the north, Victoria to the south, and South Australia to the west. Its coast borders the Coral and Tasman Seas to the east. The Australian ...

New South Wales
, Australia, and owned by
Nine 9 is a number, numeral, and glyph. 9 or nine may also refer to: Dates * AD 9, the ninth year of the AD era * 9 BC, the ninth year before the AD era * 9, numerical symbol for the month of September Places * Planet Nine, a planet proposed to ex ...

. Founded in 1831 as the ''Sydney Herald'', the ''Herald'' is the oldest continuously published newspaper in Australia and "the most widely-read masthead in the country." The newspaper is published in
compact print
compact print
form from Monday to Saturday as ''The Sydney Morning Herald'' and on Sunday as its sister newspaper, ''
The Sun-Herald ''The Sun-Herald'' is an Australian newspaper published in tabloid or compact format on Sundays in Sydney by Nine Publishing. It is the Sunday counterpart of ''The Sydney Morning Herald''. In the 6 months to September 2005, ''The Sun-Herald'' h ...

The Sun-Herald
'' and digitally as an
online site
online site
, seven days a week. It is considered a
newspaper of record The headquarters of ''Le Figaro'', France's centre-right newspaper of record, in Paris. A newspaper of record is a major newspaper with large circulation whose editorial and news-gathering functions are considered authoritative. It may also refer ...

newspaper of record
for Australia.


''The Sydney Morning Herald'' includes a variety of supplements, including the magazines ''Good Weekend'' (which is included in the Saturday edition of ''The Sydney Morning Herald''); and ''Sunday Life''. There are a variety of lift-outs, some of them co-branded with online classified advertising sites: *''The Guide'' (television) on Monday *''Good Food'' (food) and ''Domain'' (real estate) on Tuesday *''Money'' (personal finance) on Wednesday *''Drive'' (motor), ''Shortlist'' (entertainment) on Friday *''News Review'', ''Spectrum'' (arts and entertainment guide), ''Domain'' (real estate), ''Drive'' (motoring) and ''MyCareer'' (employment) on Saturday The executive editor is James Chessell and the editor is Lisa Davies. Tory Maguire is national editor, Monique Farmer is life editor, and the publisher is chief digital and publishing officer Chris Janz. Former editors include Darren Goodsir, Judith Whelan, Sean Aylmer, Peter Fray, Meryl Constance, Amanda Wilson (the first female editor, appointed in 2011),
William Curnow William Curnow (1832 – 14 October 1903) was a Cornish Australian journalist, and Methodist minister, and was editor of ''The Sydney Morning Herald'' for 15 years. Early life Curnow was baptised on 2 December 1832 at St Ives, Cornwall, United K ...

William Curnow
Andrew Garran Andrew Garran (19 November 1825 – 6 June 1901), English-Australian journalist and politician, was the editor of the ''Sydney Morning Herald'' from 1873 to 1885. Biography Garran was born in London in 1825. He was educated at Hackney Gramma ...

Andrew Garran
Frederick William Ward Frederick William Ward (5 April 1847 – 1 July 1934) was an Australian journalist, newspaper editor and Methodist minister. Ward was born in New Zealand the fourth son of the Rev. Robert Ward, a Primitive Methodist clergyman and was sent to Brisb ...

Frederick William Ward
Charles Brunsdon Fletcher Charles Brunsdon Fletcher (5 August 1859 – 17 December 1946) was an English-born Australian surveyor and journalist who served as the editor of the ''Sydney Morning Herald'' for twenty years. Birth and education Fletcher was the third of th ...

Charles Brunsdon Fletcher
, Colin Bingham, Max Prisk, John Alexander,
Paul McGeough Paul McGeough is an Irish Australian journalist and senior foreign correspondent for ''The Sydney Morning Herald''. In 2001, when covering events in Afghanistan with the Northern Alliance, he and French journalist Véronique Reyberotte survived a ...

Paul McGeough
, Alan Revell, and
Alan Oakley Alan Oakley is an English-born Australian journalist. Oakley worked as a journalist for the London ''Daily Express'', before emigrating to Australia in 1985, to work for the Sydney ''Daily Telegraph''. He later edited the ''Herald Sun'' in Melbou ...

Alan Oakley


In 1831 three employees of the now-defunct ''
Sydney Gazette ''The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser'' was the first newspaper printed in Australia, running from 5 March 1803 until 20 October 1842. It was a semi-official publication of the government of New South Wales, authorised by Governor ...

Sydney Gazette
'', Ward Stephens, Frederick Stokes, and
William McGarvie William McGarvie (1810 – 1 April 1841) was a Scottish-born bookseller and newspaper owner, active in New South Wales. J. V. Byrnes,McGarvie, William (1810 - 1841), ''Australian Dictionary of Biography'', Volume 2, MUP, 1967, pp 166–167. Retrieve ...

William McGarvie
, founded ''The Sydney Herald''. In 1931 a Centenary Supplement (since digitised) was published. The original four-page weekly had a print run of 750. In 1840, the newspaper began to publish daily. In 1841, an Englishman named
John Fairfax John Fairfax (24 October 1804 – 16 June 1877) was an English-born journalist, company director, politician, librarian and newspaper owner, he was known for the incorporation of the major newspapers of modern-day Australia. Early life Fairfax w ...

John Fairfax
purchased the operation, renaming it ''The Sydney Morning Herald'' the following year. Fairfax, whose family were to control the newspaper for almost 150 years, based his editorial policies "upon principles of candour, honesty and honour. We have no wish to mislead; no interest to gratify by unsparing abuse or indiscriminate approbation." During the 1890s
Donald Murray
Donald Murray
, who invented a predecessor of the
teleprinter A teleprinter (teletypewriter, teletype or TTY) is an electromechanical device that can be used to send and receive typed messages through various communications channels, in both point-to-point and point-to-multipoint configurations. Initiall ...

, worked there.New Zealand’s Donald Murray: The Father of the Remote Typewriter
Australian Typewriter Museum,
Canberra Canberra ( ) is the capital city of Australia. Founded following the federation of the colonies of Australia as the seat of government for the new nation, it is Australia's largest inland city and the eighth-largest city overall. Unusual am ...

, 9 March 2012; accessed 10 March 2012
The Herald added a weekly "Page for Women" in 1905 which was edited by
Theodosia Ada Wallace Theodosia Ada Wallace (18 August 1872 – 1 October 1953) was an Australian journalist. The daughter of Alexander Britton and Ada Willoughby, both natives of England, she was born Theodosia Ada Britton in Jolimont, East Melbourne. The family ...

Theodosia Ada Wallace
. The ''SMH'' was late to the trend of printing news rather than just advertising on the front page, doing so from 15 April 1944. Of the country's metropolitan dailies, only ''
The West Australian ''The West Australian'', widely known as ''The West'', is the only locally edited daily newspaper published in Perth, Western Australia, and is owned by Seven West Media (SWM), as is the state's other major newspaper, ''The Sunday Times''. ''The ...

The West Australian
'' was later in making the switch. In 1949, the newspaper launched a Sunday edition, ''The Sunday Herald''. Four years later, this was merged with the newly acquired ''Sun'' newspaper to create ''The Sun-Herald'', which continues to this day. By the mid-1960s a new competitor had appeared in Rupert Murdoch's national daily ''The Australian,'' which was first published on 15 July 1964. In 1995, the company launched the newspaper's web edition ''smh.com.au''. The site has since grown to include interactive and multimedia features beyond the content in the print edition. Around the same time, the organisation moved from Jones Street to new offices at Darling Park and built a new printing press at
Chullora Chullora, a suburb of local government areas City of Canterbury-Bankstown and the Municipality of Strathfield, is located 15 kilometres west of the Sydney central business district, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. It is part of the G ...

, in the city's west. The ''SMH'' later moved with other Sydney Fairfax divisions to a building at Darling Island. In May 2007,
Fairfax Media Fairfax Media was a media company in Australia and New Zealand, with investments in newspaper, magazines, radio and digital properties. The company was founded by John Fairfax as John Fairfax and Sons, who purchased ''The Sydney Morning Herald ...

Fairfax Media
announced it would be moving from a
broadsheet A broadsheet is the largest newspaper format and is characterized by long vertical pages, typically of . Other common newspaper formats include the smaller Berliner and tabloid–compact formats. Description Many broadsheets measure roughly ...

format to the smaller
compact Compact as used in politics may refer broadly to a pact or treaty; in more specific cases it may refer to: * Interstate compact * Blood compact, an ancient ritual of the Philippines * Compact government, a type of colonial rule utilized in British N ...

, in the footsteps of ''
The Times ''The Times'' is a British daily national newspaper based in London. It began in 1785 under the title ''The Daily Universal Register'', adopting its current name on 1 January 1788. ''The Times'' and its sister paper ''The Sunday Times'' (founde ...

The Times
'', for both ''The Sydney Morning Herald'' and ''The Age''. Fairfax Media dumped these plans later in the year. However, in June 2012, Fairfax Media again announced it planned to shift both broadsheet newspapers to tabloid size, in March 2013. Fairfax also announced it would cut staff across the entire group by 1,900 over three years and erect
paywall A paywall is a method of restricting access to content, especially news, via a purchase or a paid subscription. Beginning in the mid-2010s, newspapers started implementing paywalls on their websites as a way to increase revenue after years of dec ...

s around the papers' websites. The subscription type is to be a
freemium Freemium, a portmanteau of the words "free" and "premium", is a pricing strategy by which a basic product or service is provided free of charge, but money (a premium) is charged for additional features, services, or virtual (online) or physical (of ...

model, limiting readers to a number of free stories per month, with a payment required for further access. The announcement was part of an overall "digital first" strategy of increasingly
digital Digital usually refers to something using digits, particularly binary digits. Technology and computing Hardware *Digital electronics, electronic circuits which operate using digital signals **Digital camera, which captures and stores digital imag ...

content over printed delivery, to "increase sharing of editorial content," and to assist the management's wish for "full integration of its online, print and mobile platforms." In July 2013 it was announced that the ''SMH'' 's news director, Darren Goodsir, would become editor-in-chief, replacing Sean Aylmer. On 22 February 2014, the final Saturday edition was produced in broadsheet format with this too converted to compact format on 1 March 2014, ahead of the decommissioning of the printing plant at Chullora in June 2014. Opinions vary over whether the paper is currently centrist or left wing According to one commentator it is seen as the most centrist among the three major Australian non-tabloids (the other two being the ''Australian'' and the ''Age'').Andrea L. Everett, ''Humanitarian Hypocrisy: Civilian Protection and the Design of Peace Operations'' (Cornell University Press, 2017), p. 253: "''SMH'' ... is also generally seen as the most politically centrist of the three largest-circulation non-tabloid newspaper ''SMH'', the ''Australian'', and the ''Age'')." In 2004, the newspaper's editorial page stated: " and
social liberalism#REDIRECT social liberalism#REDIRECT social liberalism#REDIRECT social liberalism {{Redirect category shell|1= {{R from other capitalisation ... {{Redirect category shell|1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{Redirect category shell|1= {{ ...

social liberalism
" were the two "broad themes" that guided the ''Herald''s editorial stance. During the
1999 referendum on whether Australia should become a republic
1999 referendum on whether Australia should become a republic
, the ''Herald'' (like the other two major papers) strongly supported a "yes" vote. The newspaper did not endorse the
Labor Party
Labor Party
for federal office in the first six decades of
Federation A federation (also known as a federal state) is a political entity characterized by a union of partially self-governing provinces, states, or other regions under a central federal government (federalism). In a federation, the self-governing ...

, but did endorse the party in
1961 As ''MAD Magazine'' pointed out on its cover for the March 1961 issue, this was the first "upside-up" year — i.e., one in which the numerals that form the year look the same as when the numerals are rotated upside down, a strobogrammatic numb ...

1984 Events January * January 1 ** Brunei becomes a completely independent state. ** The Bell System in the United States is broken up. * January 7 – Brunei becomes the sixth member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). * Janua ...

, and
1987 Events January * January 2 – Chadian–Libyan conflict – Battle of Fada: The Chadian army destroys a Libyan armoured brigade. * January 3 – Aretha Franklin becomes the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. * January 4 ...

. During the
2004 Australian federal election The 2004 Australian federal election was held in Australia on 9 October 2004. All 150 seats in the House of Representatives and 40 seats in the 76-member Senate were up for election. The incumbent Liberal Party of Australia led by Prime Minister o ...

2004 Australian federal election
, the ''Herald'' announced it would "no longer endorse one party or another at election time" but that this policy might yet be revised in the future: "A truly awful government of any colour, for example, would bring reappraisal." In fact, astonishingly, on the eve of the 2016 federal election the paper's editor Darren Goodsir endorsed the broad policy platform of Labor leader Bill Shorten but the reelection of the Turnbull LNP government to deliver Labor's agenda. The ''Herald'' subsequently endorsed the centre-right
Coalition The term "coalition" is the denotation for a group formed when two or more people, factions, states, political parties, militaries etc. agree to work together temporarily in a partnership to achieve a common goal. The word coalition connotes a co ...

at the
2007 New South Wales state election Elections for the 54th Parliament of New South Wales were held on Saturday, 24 March 2007. The entire Legislative Assembly and half of the Legislative Council was up for election. The Labor Party led by Morris Iemma won a fourth four-year term ag ...

2007 New South Wales state election
, but endorsed centre-left Labor at the
2007 2007 was designated as the International Heliophysical Year, International Polar Year, and the International Year of Languages. Events January * January 1 ** Bulgaria and Romania join the European Union, while Slovenia joins the Eurozone. * ...

2010 federal elections
2010 federal elections
, before endorsing the Coalition at the
2013 federal elections
2013 federal elections
. The ''Herald'' endorsed Democratic candidate
Hillary Clinton Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton (born October 26, 1947) is an American politician, diplomat, lawyer, writer, and public speaker who served as the 67th United States secretary of state from 2009 to 2013, as a United States senator from New York fr ...

Hillary Clinton
in the run-up for the 2016 U.S. presidential election. During the
2019 election
2019 election
, the ''Herald'' begrudgingly endorsed
Bill Shorten William Richard Shorten (born 12 May 1967) is an Australian politician who served as Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the Labor Party from 2013 to 2019. Shorten was first elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Maribyrnong in 2007, and ...

Bill Shorten
and the centre-left [[Australian Labor Party after Malcolm Turnbull was ousted as PM. It is only the sixth time the ''Sydney Morning Herald'' has endorsed Labor since federation.

Notable contributors


* [[Waleed Aly * [[Eliza Ashton * [[Julia Baird (journalist)|Julia Baird * [[Lucian Boz * [[Mike Carlton * [[Anne Davies (Australian journalist)|Anne Davies * [[Elizabeth Farrelly * [[Peter FitzSimons * [[Ross Gittins * [[Richard Glover (radio presenter)|Richard Glover * [[Peter Hartcher * [[Amanda Hooton * [[Adele Horin * [[H. G. Kippax * [[Roy Masters (rugby league)|Roy Masters * [[Anne Summers * [[Kate McClymont


* Simon Letch, named as one of the year's best illustrators on four consecutive occasions.


Fairfax went public in 1957 and grew to acquire interests in magazines, radio, and television. The group collapsed spectacularly on 11 December 1990 when [[Warwick Fairfax, great-great-grandson of John Fairfax, attempted to privatize the group by borrowing $1.8 billion. The group was bought by [[Conrad Black before being re-listed in 1992. In 2006, Fairfax announced a merger with [[Rural Press, which brought in a Fairfax family member, John B. Fairfax, as a significant player in the company. From 10 December 2018 Nine and Fairfax Media merged into one business known as Nine. [[Nine Entertainment Co. owns ''The Sydney Morning Herald''.


Column 8

Column 8 is a short [[column (periodical)|column to which ''Herald'' readers send their observations of interesting happenings. It was first published on 11 January 1947. The name comes from the fact that it originally occupied the final (8th) column of the
broadsheet A broadsheet is the largest newspaper format and is characterized by long vertical pages, typically of . Other common newspaper formats include the smaller Berliner and tabloid–compact formats. Description Many broadsheets measure roughly ...

newspaper's front page. In a front-page redesign in the lead-up to the [[2000 Summer Olympics|Sydney Olympic Games in 2000, Column 8 moved to the back page of the first section from 31 July 2000. The content tends to the quirky, typically involving strange urban occurrences, instances of confusing signs (often in [[Engrish), [[word play, and discussion of more or less esoteric topics. The column is also sometimes affectionately known as Granny's Column, after a fictional grandmother who supposedly edited it. The column's original logo was a caricature of [[Sydney Deamer, originator of the column and its author for 14 years. It was edited for 15 years by George Richards, who retired on 31 January 2004. Other editors besides Deamer and Richards have been Duncan Thompson, Bill Fitter, Col Allison, Jim Cunningham, Pat Sheil, and briefly, [[Peter Bowers (Australian journalist)|Peter Bowers and Lenore Nicklin. The column is, as of March 2017, edited by ''Herald'' journalist Tim Barlass, who frequently appends reader contributions with puns; and who made the decision to reduce the column's publication from its traditional six days a week, down to just weekdays.


The ''Opinion'' section is a regular of the daily newspaper, containing opinion on a wide range of issues. Mostly concerned with relevant political, legal and cultural issues, the section presents work by regular columnists, including ''Herald'' political editor [[Peter Hartcher, [[Ross Gittins and [[Elizabeth Farrelly, as well as occasional reader-submitted content. Iconoclastic Sydney barrister [[Charles Waterstreet|Charles C. Waterstreet, upon whose life the television workplace comedy ''[[Rake (Australian TV series)|Rake'' is loosely based, had a regular humour column in this section.

''Good Weekend''

''Good Weekend'' is a liftout magazine that is distributed with both ''The Sydney Morning Herald'' and ''[[The Age'' in Saturday editions. It contains, on average, four feature articles written by its stable of writers and others syndicated from overseas as well as sections on food, wine and fashion. Writers include Stephanie Wood, Jane Cadzow, Melissa Fyfe, Tim Elliott, Konrad Marshall and Amanda Hooton. Other sections include "Modern Guru," which features humorous columnists including [[Danny Katz responding to the everyday dilemmas of readers; a regular column by writer [[Benjamin Law (writer)|Benjamin Law; a ''[[Samurai Sudoku''; and "The Two of Us," containing interviews with a pair of close friends, relatives or colleagues. "Good Weekend" is edited by Katrina Strickland. Previous editors include [[Ben Naparstek, Judith Whelan and Fenella Souter.


The paper has been partially digitised as part of the [[Australian Newspapers Digitisation Program project of the [[National Library of Australia.

See also

* [[Journalism in Australia * [[List of newspapers in Australia * ''[[The Sydney Mail'' – weekly magazine of ''The Sydney Morning Herald'', published from 1860 to 1938


Further reading

* Merrill, John C. and Harold A. Fisher. ''The world's great dailies: profiles of fifty newspapers'' (1980) pp 314–19 * Gavin Souter (1981) ''Company of Heralds: a century and a half of Australian publishing by John Fairfax Limited and its predecessors, 1831-1981'' Carlton, Victoria: Melbourne University Press, * Gavin Souter (1992) ''Heralds and angels: the house of Fairfax 1841-1992'' Ringwood, Victoria: Penguin Books,

External links

Earth Hour archive
* * * {{DEFAULTSORT:Sydney Morning Herald [[Category:1831 establishments in Australia [[Category:Australian news websites [[Category:Fairfax family (publishers)| Fairfax Media [[Category:Fairfax Media [[Category:Newspapers published in Sydney [[Category:Publications established in 1831 [[Category:Daily newspapers published in Australia [[Category:Newspapers on Trove [[Category:Nine Entertainment Co.