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The Daily Telegraph is an Australian daily tabloid newspaper[1] published in Sydney, New South Wales, by Nationwide News Limited, a division of News Corp Australia, formerly News Limited.

The Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph front page.jpg
Cover of The Daily Telegraph (May 26, 2016), occupied by a hit piece on David Feeney, during the 2016 federal election campaign.
TypeDaily newspaper
FormatTabloid
Owner(s)Nationwide News
(News Corp Australia)
EditorBen English
FoundedThe Daily Telegraph 1879
The Daily Telegraph-Mirror 1990 (merger with The Daily Mirror)
The Daily Telegraph 1996
Headquarters2 Holt Street, Surry Hills
Circulation280,731 (Weekdays)
265,711 (Saturday) (as of 2013-14 financial year)
Readership1,191,000 (Weekdays)
909,000 (Saturday)
Websitewww.dailytelegraph.com.au

The Daily Telegraph is published Monday through Saturday and is available throughout Sydney, across most of regional and remote New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory and South East Queensland.

Amongst those ranked by Nielsen, the Telegraph's website is the 6th most popular Australian news website, and the most popular paid-subscription Australian news website.[2] with a unique monthly audience of 2,841,381 readers.

Contents

HistoryEdit

The Tele, as it is also known, was founded in 1879.[3] From 1936 to 1972, it was owned by Sir Frank Packer's Australian Consolidated Press. That year it was sold to News Limited (now News Corp Australia).

The paper ran as a broadsheet until 1927, when it switched to a tabloid format. The paper returned to a broadsheet format in 1931, but wartime paper restrictions saw it return to tabloid format in 1942.[4]

In February 1957 the Australian Prime Minister, Robert Menzies, barred correspondents of The Daily Telegraph from his press conferences because the paper had been critical of his policies.[5]

In October 1990, at the same time as a merger took place between its Melbourne morning and afternoon sister papers, The Daily Telegraph merged with its afternoon sister paper The Daily Mirror to form The Daily Telegraph-Mirror with morning and afternoon editions. The new paper continued in this vein until January 1996 when the paper name reverted to The Daily Telegraph, in the process, removing the last vestige of the old Daily Mirror, although the paper continued morning and afternoon editions until January 2002, when the afternoon edition was discontinued.

The circulation of the newspaper during the June quarter 2013 was 310,724 on weekdays,[6] the largest of a Sydney newspaper. In the 2013-14 financial year it decreased 9.65% to 280,731.[7][8]

Anti-LGBTI BiasEdit

Reporting of Transgender Woman Accused of Violent Axe AttackEdit

In January 2017, the Daily Telegraph published an article concerning a transgender woman subsequently convicted of a violent axe attack in a Sydney suburb. Although her transgender status was irrelevant to the incident at the time, The Daily Telegraph used derogatory slurs and made repeated references to the attacker's history of sex reassignment surgery, calling the woman a "tranny" who "had chopped herself".

The following week, SBS published an article expressing concern about how journalists "appear to enjoy treating transgender people as the punchline to a joke," singling out the Daily Telegraph's journalist.[9]

In September 2018, the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal considered whether the article constituted unlawful vilification through its "gratuitous references to", and "ridicule of" the woman's transgender status.[10] The Tribunal found that the Daily Telegraph published the article with "apparent disregard for the injurious effect it might have on transgender people." The Tribunal also held that, "it is evident that [the journalist] was seeking to make fun of Ms Amati and probably transgender people more generally," and that the "attempt at humour was in poor taste and completely devoid of empathy or sensitivity."

Continuing, the Tribunal also held that the article "contributes to the perpetration and perpetuation of demeaning negative stereotypes and a lack of acceptance of transgender people within the community." The Tribunal ultimately concluded that, whilst "close to the line", the article did not reach the threshold for vilification.[10]

Lawyer Michael Bradley wrote an analysis of the case for political news website Crikey, arguing that the publication of such articles should not be unlawful, but instead that the Daily Telegraph should have sufficient social responsibility to cease publishing the author's "recklessly hurtful attempts at wit — because he did, and does, harm."[11]

As of September 2018, the article has been removed from the website of the Daily Telegraph and replaced with a notice stating "This article is no longer available."[12]

The Australian Press Council has not yet handed down is ruling on the media ethics implications of the article.

Infographic Conflating Youth Homosexuality with SicknessEdit

On 12 July 2017, the Daily Telegraph published an article headlined "Fat Chance Of Being Healthy” in print. The article was syndicated online under the headline "Junk food, alcohol and drugs are fuelling health crisis in young adults".[13] The article contained an infographic that canvassed social health concerns, such as alcohol usage, obesity, and drug dependency, for which "Young Aussies have only themselves to blame". The infographic included "same sex attraction" among the condemnable health problems it canvassed.

A number of LGBTI Australians complained that the article was prejudicial, saying that sexual orientation is neither a choice nor a medical problem, and such coverage contributes to prejudice, shame and suicide risk for young same-sex attracted people.[14][15] The 'blameworthiness' implicit in the headline was alleged to perpetuate negative stereotypes about gay children. The article drew condemnation from the ABC's Media Watch,[16] Sydney radio station 2 DAY FM, Pedestrian TV, and Junkee.[17]

Chris Dore, the publication's Chief Editor, responded to the criticism from the Daily Telegraph's social media accounts, saying the story had been "misinterpreted" and that it "in no way suggests, or intends to suggest, that same-sex relationships are unhealthy. There is no judgement expressed at all in the story other than diet."

The press regulator, the Australian Press Council was asked to consider whether the article complied with its Statement of General Principles. The Council concluded its investigations five months later. It upheld the complaint, saying "the reference to ill health and blame in the headlines, with the statistic about same-sex attraction displayed among factors such as obesity and drug use, suggested same-sex attraction is unhealthy and blameworthy. As a result, the article caused substantial offence, distress, prejudice and risk to public health and safety, and there was no public interest justifying this."[18]

The Daily Telegraph was further sanctioned by the Australian Press Council for failing to comply with the requirements around publication of adjudication findings. The Press Council required the publisher to republish the print component of the adjudication as it was not fully compliant with its requirements in the first instance. The reprint was published on January 24, 2018. The Daily Telegraph claimed that "nothing sinister had occurred [in the non-compliance]", and blamed the misdemeanour on a production error.[19]

Misleading Report about Australian Defence Force LGBTI Inclusion GuideEdit

The Australian press regulator, the Australian Press Council, concluded on 13 May 2019 that an article published by the Daily Telegraph about an Australian Defence Force 'LGBTI Diversity and Inclusion Guide' breached its General Principles because the report was inaccurate and misleading.[20] The report's headline was found to have misled readers into believing that the Australian Defence Force had banned service members from using the terms "he" and "she" out of concern for the sensitivities of gender diverse service members.

Misleading Interview on Transgender ChildrenEdit

On 12 June 2019, the Australian Press Council concluded a 14 month investigation into an article and associated podcast published by the Daily Telegraph about transgender children. It concluded that the article breached its General Principles because factual claims about medical efficacy were likely to be misleading.[21] The impugned material concerned an interview in April 2018 between columnist Miranda Devine and Ryan T Anderson of the conservative American think-tank, the Heritage Foundation. The material substantially focused on medical care for transgender children and adolescents, and claimed that there exists "no evidence that these hormones are safe to be used on kids, no evidence of any reduction in self-harm or suicide."[22]

At the time, gender affirming treatments were considered medically necessary and highly effective by a significant number of eminent medical associations, including the American Medical Association[23], the World Health Organisation, the World Medical Association[24], the American Academy of Pediatricians,[25] the International Endocrine Society,[26] the World Professional Association for Transgender Health,[27] the American Psychological Association[28] American Psychiatric Association,[29], the American Academy of Family Physicians[30] the Australian New Zealand Professional Association for Transgender Health,[31] The Royal Children's Hospital, the Australian Psychiatric Association, the American Psychiatric Association,[32], and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.[33]

Misleading Opinion Column on Transgender ChildrenEdit

The Australian Press Council sanctioned a further article by columnist Miranda Devine about Australian transgender children, headlined "What Madness can Justify Mutilating our Children?"[34] The piece referred to medical procedures for gender transition as “mutilation”, “child surgical abuse” and a “monstrous assault on [adolescent's] developing bodies”. The article also cited the opinion of a Sydney pediatrician who has never treated gender dysphoria, performed no original research into its cause or treatment, and who has appeared previously in presentations hosted by the Australian Christian Lobby on the subject of medical care for transgender adolescents. The article did not cross-reference those opinions against eminent medical bodies or contemporary standards of practice as recommended in the Press Coucil's Advisory Guide.[35]

The Australian Press Council concluded in June 2019 that the article breached its Standards of Practice. It held that the claim of "no evidence that changing sex will reduce the incidence of self-harm or suicide or lessen the impact of other associated mental states" was misleading and expressed in such absolute terms to be inaccurate. [36]

The ABC's Media Watch criticised the publication for "lack of balance" and for putting religious and political motivations ahead of truth, balanced facts and the public interest in evidence-based medical care.[37]

Other ControversiesEdit

A 2013 poll conducted by Essential Research found that the Telegraph was Australia's least-trusted major newspaper, with 41% of respondents citing trust in the paper.[38][39]

Geoffrey Rush DefamationEdit

On 30 November 2017, the Daily Telegraph published a front page article, headlined "King Leer", alleging that actor Geoffrey Rush had acted inappropriately towards a female actor during rehearsals for the Sydney Theatre Company's 2015-2016 production of "King Lear". The article featured an image of Rush shirtless and in white makeup.

Rush denied the incidents, and said his career had been "irreparably damaged" by the newspaper's untrue reports. It subsequently came to light that the Daily Telegraph did not interview the female actor concerned and provided only a few hours for Rush to respond to the serious allegations. Rush filed proceedings on 8 December 2017 in the Federal Court of Australia for defamation against the publisher of the Daily Telegraph, saying the publisher "made false, pejorative and demeaning claims, splattering them with unrelenting bombast on its front pages".

The defamation claim was upheld on 11 April 2019. Justice Michael Wigney found that the Daily Telegraph's report was "in all the circumstances, a recklessly irresponsible and sensationalist journalism of the worst kind." He found that the publisher had been unable to prove that the allegations were substantially true. He awarded $0.85m, with further damages for the actor’s economic losses to be determined later. He said that the female actor was needlessly “dragged into the spotlight by the actions" of the Daily Telegraph.

Tony Zoef DefamationEdit

On 22 August 2013, the Daily Telegraph published an article headlined "Tailor’s alter ego as a gunrunner". The article referred to an individual who was known to Sutherland Shire locals as a "friendly tailor who spends his days altering their clothes". The article claimed that the individual was "alleged" by police to be "the mastermind behind a haul of military-grade weapons smuggled into Australia".[40]

The article mistakenly attributed the alleged crimes to the wrong individual, who subsequently filed a complaint of defamation in the New South Wales Discrict Court. In the first instance, the Court found that, despite the serious errors in the article, the publisher's defence based on a prior offer of amends should prevail.[41]

On appeal, the Supreme Court of NSW upheld the complaint of defamation. It held that, "Taking into account the seriousness of the defamatory imputations and the significant hurt they caused the appellant, the damage to his business as a tailor, the unequal prominence the respondent afforded to the proposed correction and apology and their resultant inadequacy, the modest monetary component of the offer, and the likelihood of the proceedings being successful, the offer of amends was not reasonable." [42] The Court awarded a sum of $150,000 to the complainant.

John Brogden allegationsEdit

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

Rodney Tiffen, an academic at the University of Sydney, described the newspaper's coverage as an example of "hyena journalism", judging Brogden's personal life to be off limits following his withdrawal from public life.[43]

Editor David Penberthy claimed that his source was from inside the Liberal Party and that none of the events would have happened if no one leaked from inside the party.[44]

Mount Druitt High SchoolEdit

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

The story led to a renewed focus on the quality of public schools in Western Sydney and precipitated several reviews of schooling in the area.[45] But for many, the headline highlighted problems with interpreting Higher School Certificate results and the accompanying TER.[46]

The students successfully sued the newspaper in the Supreme Court for defamation. The Telegraph subsequently apologised and settled for damages out of court.[47] The published apology stated:

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

Call centres in IndiaEdit

In October 2006, The Telegraph claimed in a front-page article that ANZ were using call centres in Bangalore, India. The paper even sent a journalist to Bangalore, Luke McIlveen, and a photographer to verify this claim.[49] ANZ denied the claim, stating that they do not employ overseas call centre staff in India.[50] Subsequently, ANZ pulled all of its advertising from News Limited, including Foxtel and News website, which amounted to $4 to 5 million, about 10 per cent of ANZ's advertising budget.[50]

In assuming blame, David Penberthy, editor-in-chief of News Limited, defended McIlveen.[51]

Allegations of plagiarismEdit

In 2002, former Telegraph journalist, Matt Sun, was accused of plagiarism by the TV program Media Watch.[52][53] Editor at the time, Campbell Reid, responded by accusing Media Watch's host of having a conflict of interest that "destroyed the credibility of any judgement he could pass on the ethics and standards of others in the media".[54]

Press Council complaint regarding Greens articleEdit

In May 2011, The Telegraph published an article making an assertion about the Australian Greens which subsequently prompted a complaint to the Australian Press Council. The article asserted that the Greens had managed to "force" the Government to divert money from flood relief, to fund various Green programs. The Press Council upheld the complaint and stated that the assertion was inaccurate and remained uncorrected.[55]

Press Council complaint regarding series of misleading NBN articlesEdit

In June and July 2011, The Telegraph published a series of articles about the National Broadband Network. These articles triggered a complaint to the Australian Press Council, alleging that they were factually incorrect, unbalanced and misleading. In December 2011, the Press Council upheld the complaints on all three articles, forcing The Telegraph to publish the adjudication.[56][57] The Council also published the following statement in regards to the issue:

Press Council complaint regarding Mark Latham article (Sunday Telegraph)Edit

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

The Council also found that there had been an "unreasonable intrusion on the children's privacy" and upheld that aspect of the complaint.[59]

Press Council complaint regarding asylum seeker articleEdit

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

Press Council complaint regarding series of Clover Moore articlesEdit

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

This adjudication marked the 4th complaint to have been upheld against The Daily Telegraph under the editorship of Paul Whittaker, since commencing the role in April 2011.[62]

Photoshopping of Mike Carlton onto Boston bombing victimEdit

Following the resignation of Fairfax commentator Mike Carlton, The Daily Telegraph published a 2-page spread attacking Carlton and competing newspaper the Sydney Morning Herald. The spread included a composited image of Boston Marathon bombing victim James Costello, with Mr Carlton's face and wearing an Arab headdress. The photoshopped image portrayed Carlton 'escaping Gaza'. The image manipulation drew widespread criticism on social media, and forced the editor to apologise, saying he was unaware of the origin of the image.[63]

CounterpartsEdit

Political stanceEdit

The Daily Telegraph has traditionally been opposed to the Australian Labor Party, and is often a supporter of the Australian Liberal Party. A 2013 front-page headline said of the second Rudd Government "Finally, you now have the chance to kick this mob out".[64][65] The paper's high-profile columnists are predominantly conservative, including Piers Akerman, Miranda Devine, Tim Blair and Andrew Bolt.

A Roy Morgan media credibility survey found that 40 per cent of journalists viewed News Limited newspapers as Australia's most partisan media outlet, ahead of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on 25 per cent. The survey found that readers took a generally dim view of journalists. In response to the question "Which newspapers do you believe do not accurately and fairly report the news?", the Daily Telegraph came third (9%) behind the Herald Sun (11%) and "All of them" (16%).[66]

At the 2007 Australian federal election The Daily Telegraph for only the second time endorsed the Australian Labor Party. At the 2010 Australian federal election the Newspaper endorsed the Coalition and Tony Abbott. In the 2013 election, the Daily Telegraph ran 177 stories that were pro Coalition 11 stories that leaned the other way.[67]

StaffEdit

EditorsEdit

The Telegraph is edited by Christopher Dore.[68] Dore's predecessors are Paul Whittaker, Gary Linnell, David Penberthy,[69] Campbell Reid,[69] David Banks[70] and Col Allan, who served as editor-in-chief at the Murdoch-owned New York Post from 2001 to 2016.

ColumnistsEdit

Columnists include Piers Akerman, Tim Blair, Miranda Devine and education specialist Maralyn Parker. Journalists include Joe Hildebrand, Samantha Maiden, Andrew Clennell, Mark Morri, Nick Tabakoff, Edward Boyd, Ashleigh Gleeson, Laura Banks and Daniel Meers.

Past employeesEdit

Past writers for the newspaper include Lucian Boz, Mark Day, Peter Frilingos, Mike Gibson, Peter Holder and David Luff.

BlogsEdit

The Daily Telegraph website hosts the blogs of several columnists.
*Tim Blair, blog
*Andrew Bolt, blog
*Miranda Devine, blog
*Piers Akerman, right-wing conservative commentator since 1993
*RendezView, a stable of several opinion columnists
*Game of Moans, a pop culture blog focusing on Game of Thrones and the Walking Dead.

Circulation and readershipEdit

Readership data from Enhanced Media Metrics Australia (EMMA) October 2018 report shows that the Daily Telegraph has total monthly readership of 4,500,000 people via print and digital, compared to 7,429,000 people for its primary competitor, the Sydney Morning Herald.[71]

The Daily Telegraph's, weekday print newspaper circulation fell from 310,724 in June 2013[6] to 221,641 in June 2017.[72] Saturday newspaper circulation fell from 265,711 to 221,996 over the same period.

As of February 2019, third-party web analytics provider Alexa ranked The Daily Telegraphs's website as the 343rd most visited website in Australia (down from 90th in July 2015)[73]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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  2. ^ "NIELSEN DIGITAL CONTENT RATINGS JULY 2018 TAGGED RANKINGS".
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