Sydney Morning Herald

About Us

John Fairfax, who bought control of the Sydney Herald in 1841, beginning his family's 149-year long control of the paper he later renamed The Sydney Morning Herald.

April 18, 1831

The Sydney Morning Herald began life as the weekly Sydney Herald. It cost 7d, had just four pages and only 750 copies were printed. The paper, named after Scotland's Glasgow Herald, was founded by Englishmen Alfred Ward Stephens, Frederick Stokes and William McGarvie, who all worked for the Sydney Gazette.

The trio's new paper was initially based in Redman's Court, near George Street. Ten years later, John Fairfax (pictured above) began his family's 149-year long control of the paper. The bankrupt Englishman had published the Leamington Spa Sketch Book before migrating to New South Wales in 1838.

The paper became a daily in 1840, two years before it was renamed to its present masthead. The front page carried nothing but notices and advertisements, with news buried at the end of page two. Its editorial policies were based "upon principles of candour, honesty and honour... We have no wish to mislead; no interest to gratify by unsparing abuse or indiscriminate approbation."




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  • Sydney Morning Herald

    “Great site Fairfax. Question is, why should I ever buy a newspaper again?”

  • Raver1 on 22nd May 2007

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