The Sunday Times (Western Australia)
The Sunday Times, owned by News Limited
News Limited
News Limited is one of Australia's largest diversified media companies. The publicly listed company's interests span newspaper and magazine publishing, Internet, Pay TV, National Rugby League, market research, DVD and film distribution, and film and television production trading assets.News Limited...

, is a tabloid Sunday newspaper printed in Perth
Perth, Western Australia
Perth is the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia and the fourth most populous city in Australia. The Perth metropolitan area has an estimated population of almost 1,700,000....

 and distributed throughout Western Australia
Western Australia
Western Australia is a state of Australia, occupying the entire western third of the Australian continent. It is bounded by the Indian Ocean to the north and west, the Great Australian Bight and Indian Ocean to the south, the Northern Territory to the north-east and South Australia to the south-east...



Established by Frederick Vosper
Frederick Vosper
Frederick Charles Burleigh Vosper was an Australian newspaper journalist and proprietor, and politician. He was well known for his ardent views and support of Australian republicanism, federalism and trade unionism.-Early life:...

 in the 1890s, The Sunday Times became a vehicle for the harassment of C. Y. O'Connor
C. Y. O'Connor
Charles Yelverton O'Connor CMG was an Irish engineer who is best-known for his work in Australia, especially the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme.-Early life:...

 and the proposed Goldfields Water Supply Scheme
Goldfields Water Supply Scheme
The Goldfields Water Supply Scheme is a pipeline and dam project which delivers potable water to communities in Western Australia's Eastern Goldfields, particularly Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie...

 in the late 1890s until O'Connor's death by suicide in 1902. A subsequent government inquiry found no justification for Vosper's campaign against O'Connor.

The paper was purchased from Vosper's estate by James MacCallum Smith
James MacCallum Smith
James MacCallum Smith was an Australian politician, newspaper proprietor and stock breeder. He lobbied unsuccessfully for many years for the secession of Western Australia from the Federation of Australia....

 and Arthur Reid in 1901. In 1912 MacCallum Smith became sole proprietor and managing director, remaining in that role until 1935, as well as being a member of the Western Australian Legislative Assembly for 20 years.

In 1935, a syndicate led by Jack Simons
Jack Simons
John Joseph Simons was an Australian businessman and politician, best known for establishing the Young Australia League....

 and including Victor Courtney
Victor Courtney
Victor Desmond Courtney was a Western Australian journalist. From small beginnings in a partnership in a weekly sporting newspaper, Courtney ended up as the managing director of The Sunday Times and owner of a network of thirty regional newspapers.-Works:* Random Rhymes, Perth, the author.* ...

 and mining entrepreneur Claude de Bernales
Claude de Bernales
Claude Albo de Bernales was a Western Australian mining entrepreneur whose business activities and marketing did much to stimulate investment in Western Australia during the early years of the twentieth century...

 purchased Western Press Limited, the publisher of the paper, for £55,000. Simons was chairman and managing director until his death in 1949 when Courtney took control. In 1955 Courtney sold Western Press to Rupert Murdoch
Rupert Murdoch
Keith Rupert Murdoch, AC, KSG is an Australian-American business magnate. He is the founder and Chairman and CEO of , the world's second-largest media conglomerate....

's News Limited.

Current format and circulation

To counter perceived decreasing demand for newspapers and competition from radio, television and internet news, The Sunday Times has made adaptations in style and presentation but remains a populist tabloid rather than a newspaper of record. Sunday monopoly status ensures statewide circulation for its extensive display- and classified-advertising content, making it probably the most profitable newspaper in Australia.

The paper's audited circulation was 321,500 in December 2008, 5.9% down from 341,500 in the preceding year.

Recent editors have been Don Smith from 1987, Brian Crisp from 1999, Brett McCarthy who took over from Crisp in 2001 and his successor Sam Weir from 8 June 2007.

In June 2006, The Sunday Times launched PerthNow, an online presentation of local news from News Limited.

Competition-free status

Western Australia's diminutive population has not enjoyed a competitive Sunday newspaper since The Independent
The Independent (Perth)
The Independent was a Perth, Western Australian based weekly newspaper owned by mining entrepreneurs Lang Hancock and Peter Wright....

was bought out by News Limited in 1984 and wound up in May 1986.

Before 1990, Perth
Perth, Western Australia
Perth is the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia and the fourth most populous city in Australia. The Perth metropolitan area has an estimated population of almost 1,700,000....

 enjoyed competitive Saturday newspapers (Weekend News and Western Mail (1980-1988)), as well as weekday morning and afternoon dailies (The West Australian
The West Australian
The West Australian is the only locally-edited daily newspaper published in Perth, Western Australia, and is owned by ASX-listed Seven West Media . The West is published in tabloid format, as is the state's other major newspaper, The Sunday Times, a News Limited publication...

and Daily News
Daily News (Perth)
The Daily News was an afternoon daily newspaper published in Perth, Western Australia from 1882 until 1990, though its origin is traceable from 1840.-Origins:...

respectively). However, there appears to be a long-standing reciprocal arrangement that the publishers of The West Australian and The Sunday Times do not compete directly with each other's diurnal circulation, though Saturday's West is obliged to share the state's very lucrative weekend classified-advertising market with The Sunday Times. A small-circulation state edition of Murdoch's national daily The Australian
The Australian
The Australian is a broadsheet newspaper published in Australia from Monday to Saturday each week since 14 July 1964. The editor in chief is Chris Mitchell, the editor is Clive Mathieson and the 'editor-at-large' is Paul Kelly....

is printed at The Sunday Times, targeting an elite readership group in a way which does not seriously impinge on the more demotic audience of The West Australian.

A joint venture between the two companies produces nearly all of Perth's local newspapers.

2008 'leak' controversy

On 30 April 2008, members of the police fraud squad
Western Australia Police
The Western Australia Police services an area of 2.5 million square kilometres, the world's largest non-federated area of jurisdiction. In 2008, its 7,526 employees included 5,647 police officers.-History:-Early history:...

  conducted a raid on the offices of The Sunday Times—an unusual event for Australian mainstream media—following a state government complaint that confidential cabinet information had been 'leaked' to the paper. An upper-house
Western Australian Legislative Council
The Legislative Council, or upper house, is one of the two chambers of parliament in the Australian state of Western Australia. Its central purpose is to act as a house of review for legislation passed through the lower house, the Legislative Assembly. It sits in Parliament House in the state...

 select committee inquiry subsequently found that no direction had been given to police by any minister, parliamentarian or staffer; and that "the police over-reacted in what should have been a routine search". The committee's findings included criticism of the Department of Premier and Cabinet and the Corruption and Crime Commission
Corruption and Crime Commission
The Corruption and Crime Commission is a permanent investigative commission established by the Government of Western Australia in 2003, largely as a result of the findings of a Royal Commission into the state's police service. Its role is to investigate public corruption...

. It also recommended "that the Attorney General continue to pursue the introduction of shield laws for journalists".

Further reading

  • Dunn, Frank (1997) A Century of Sundays Perth, W.A. Sunday Times. ISBN 0646338013
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