''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 West'' is the second-oldest continuously produced newspaper in Australia, having been published since 1833. ''The West'' tends to have conservative leanings, and has mostly supported the Liberal–National Party Coalition. It has Australia's largest share of market penetration (84% of WA) of any newspaper in the country.


The newspaper publishes international, national and local news. , newsgathering was integrated with the TV news and current-affairs operations of ''Seven News'', Perth, which moved its news staff to the paper's Osborne Park premises. SWM also publish two websites from Osborne Park including thewest.com.au and PerthNow. Opinion columnists now include Jenna Clarke, Lanai Scarr, Paul Murray, Sarah-Jane Tasker, and Andrew Bolt. The daily newspaper includes lift-outs including Play Magazine, The Guide, West Weekend, and Body and Soul. Thewest.com.au is the online version of the daily newspaper available to subscribers.

Political leanings

''The West'' has conservative leanings, and has usually supported the Liberal–National Party Coalition throughout the political group's existence. At the state election held in March 2017, the newspaper's editorial endorsed the Australian Labor Party opposition, led by Mark McGowan, over the Coalition government led by Colin Barnett.''The West'' endorsed the Coalition at the 2019 Australian federal election.


As of June 2020, SWM’s print mastheads reach 791,000 readers each week (net) and with a loyal, regular reader base are read 2.8 million times (gross readership). The West Australian Monday-Friday edition has the highest state reach of any metro weekday masthead in the nation, with 21.5% of West Australians reading an average issue . SWM also has the leading WA online news sites with thewest.com.au and PerthNow, which has over 3 million Unique Audience. Across an average month 3.7 million people read Seven West Media WA’s print/digital news-mastheads* (+ 170,000 readers year on year) including 84% of West Australians - the highest state market reach of any cross platform masthead in the country. ''The West Australian Mon-Sat (net), The Sunday Times, thewest.com.au, PerthNow Sources: emma CMV, People 14+ for the 12 months to 31 March 2020. Nielsen Digital Panel (calibrated to DCR), March 2020. All 14+ only.''

Corporate ownership

''The West Australian'' was owned by the publicly listed company ''West Australian Newspapers Ltd'' from the 1920s. In 1969, the Melbourne-based The Herald and Weekly Times Ltd bought WAN and published the paper until 1987 when it was sold to Robert Holmes à Court's Bell Group in 1987 when the remainder of H&WT was bought by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. The following year Alan Bond, through Bond Corporation, gained control of Bell Group and hence the paper. This ownership structure only survived for a few years until the collapse of Bond Corporation. A newly formed company, ''West Australian Newspapers Holdings'', then purchased the paper from the receivers before being floated in an oversubscribed $185 million public offering.175 years of The West Australian
/ref> Chairman Trevor Eastwood announced in the annual report that the company was listed on the Australian Securities Exchange () on 9 January 1992. A management fee of $217,000 and underwriting/brokers handling fee of $1,981,136 were paid to companies associated with former short-term directors John Poynton and J. H. Nickson. After having acquired Seven Media Group in February 2011, West Australian Newspapers Holdings Limited became Seven West Media, Australia's largest diversified media business.


Masthead from the ''Perth Gazette and Western Australian Journal'', published Saturday 1 June 1833. ''The West Australian'' traces its origins to ''The Perth Gazette and Western Australian Journal'', the first edition of which appeared on 5 January 1833. Owned and edited by Perth postmaster Charles Macfaull, it was originally a four-page weekly. It was, at first, published on Saturdays, but changed to Fridays in 1864. From 7 October 1864 it was known as ''The Perth Gazette and Western Australian Times'' and was published by Arthur Shenton, until 24 March 1871, after which the publisher was Joseph Mitchell, until 29 September 1871. The new publisher, M. Shenton, remained in place until 26 June 1874. when it was bought by a syndicate who renamed it ''The Western Australian Times'' and who in September 1874 increased production to two editions a week. On 18 November 1879, it was relaunched as ''The West Australian''. In October 1883, production was increased to three editions per week; two years later it became a daily publication. The proprietors of the ''West Australian'' at that time also inaugurated the ''Western Mail'', in 1885. Initially, delivery of the paper beyond settled areas was problematic, but the growth and development of the rural railway system in the early 1900s facilitated wider circulation.


Clock on the former premises, Newspaper House, St Georges Terrace Newspaper House, the former office and publishing plant of The West on St Georges Terrace, across the road from the Palace Hotel, was a prominent landmark in the life of the city and state for over 50 years. It was vacated in the mid-1980s for the ill-fated "Westralia Square" redevelopment which was completed in 2012 under the name Brookfield Place. The editorial staff was temporarily relocated in a nearby office building. Recognised as part of an important heritage precinct,1Newspaper House was scheduled for preservation and refurbishment. In 1988, larger and more modern accommodation for the paper's printing presses was commissioned in Osborne Park.2Ten years later, the editorial operations also moved to the Osborne Park complex.


In September 2015 the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission approved the acquisition of ''The Sunday Times'', which would give Seven West Media a monopoly over major newspapers in the state. Finalisation of the deal, which includes the website PerthNow, was announced by ''The West'' on 8 November 2016. In May 2019, SWM acquired Community Newspaper Group, adding 13 titles to the newspaper suite in WA, and have since moved all of the community websites onto the PerthNow website.

Circulation and profits slump

''The West'' recorded a significant fall of nearly 25% in profit in June 2016. A serious drop in circulation was also reported with average weekday circulation down from 157,000 to 145,000, while the weekend edition averaged 241,000, down from 258,000. Cost-saving measures such as staff redundancies was attributed to the poor performance.


* 1833–1846 Charles Macfaull175 years of the West Australian
at Australian-Media.com.au
* 1847–1871 Arthur Shenton * 1871–1874 Mercy Shenton * 1874–1879 Rev. C. G. Nicolay and John Rowland Jones; Henry Hullock * 1879–1887 Sir Thomas Cockburn-Campbell * 1887–1916 John Winthrop Hackett * 1916–1927 Alfred Langler * 1927–1951 Charles Patrick Smith * 1951–1956 James Edward "Jim" Macartney * 1956–1972 W. T. G. (William Thomas Griffith) "Griff" Richards * 1972–1972 F. B. (Fred) Morony * 1972–1983 M. C. (Bon) Uren * 1983–1987 D. B. (Don) Smith * 1987–1988 R. E. (Bob) Cronin * 1988–1990 Don Baker * 1990–2000 Paul Murray * 2000–2003 Brian Rogers * 2003–2008 Paul ArmstrongChris Thomso
West Australian editor Armstrong shunted
The Age BusinessDay 16 December 2008
* 2008–2009 R. E. (Bob) Cronin * 2009–2018 Brett McCarthyNick Perpitc
Brett McCarthy goes from Sunday to weekdays at The West Australian
''The Australian'' 16 March 2009
*2018–present Anthony De Ceglie


The first book published in Western Australia, ''Report of the Late Trial for Libel!!! Clarke versus MacFaul'' (Fremantle, 1835), by the future editor of the ''Swan River Guardian'' William Nairne Clark, concerned a libel case brought against the editor of the ''Perth Gazette'', Charles Macfaull, by the accusations of incompetence and impugned character printed in regard to a Captain Clark. A letter of apology was refused and the court awarded damages of £27 to the captain of the vessel. Macfaull maintained his reputation although his resources were significantly reduced by the verdict.Steve Howell and Jane Jones,
Our Prized Possessions
- Rarities Revealed : An Exhibition of WA Stories and Treasure'' (30 June to 26 August 2007).
In February 2005 former Australian Labor prime minister Bob Hawke labelled the paper "a disgrace to reasonable objective journalism". Academic Peter van Onselen substantiated this attack, identifying 10 pro-Opposition front-page headlines in the lead-up to the 2005 state election, but no pro-Government headlines. In May 2007, then attorney-general and health minister in the State Labor government, Jim McGinty, described the newspaper as "the nation's most inaccurate and dishonest newspaper". He went on to attack the editor, Paul Armstrong, saying that "the board of West Australian Newspapers needs to sack the editor. It is personally driven by a particular individual". Armstrong responded by saying he "could not give a fat rat's arse" about Mr McGinty's comments and was then virulently attacked by premier Alan Carpenter, whose government the paper continued to denigrate until its defeat at the 2008 election. On 8 December 2014 the management of West Australian Newspapers announced that printed editions of The West Australian would no longer be available in retail outlets located north of Broome in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, including towns such as Derby, Halls Creek, Fitzroy Crossing, Wyndham and Kununurra, due to the expense of transporting and delivering printed newspapers.

Notable present and past employees

*Piers Akerman *Dean Alston *Estelle Blackburn *Brian Burke *Robert Drewe *Dame Mary Durack (Used the nom-de-plume "Virgilia") *Frederick Flood *Sir Paul Hasluck *Adele Horin *Catherine Ellen Martin, Gold Walkley Award winner, 1978Gold Walkley Honour Roll
at Walkley Foundation
*Paul Murray *Paul Rigby *David Williams *Andre Malan

See also

* List of newspapers in Australia * ''Western Australian Government Gazette''



Further reading

* * (1933) ''West Australian – history of the newspaper, printing techniques and building'' (Photographs first used in The West Australian on 10 May 1910) West Australian, 5 January 1933, Centenary issue, p. 3,8e,21d

External links

* * * * * * {{DEFAULTSORT:West Australian, The Category:Publications established in 1833 Category:Companies based in Perth, Western Australia Category:1833 establishments in Australia Category:Newspapers published in Perth, Western Australia Category:Daily newspapers published in Australia Category:Newspapers on Trove