The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age release 2021 Impact Reports

impact reports nine

• The report is a dive into the year’s biggest stories covered by each masthead

The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age have released their 2021 Impact Reports, detailing the mastheads’ contributions to society through investigations, holding the powerful to account and celebrating cities.

Developed to illustrate journalism featured across the two mastheads, the 2021 Impact Report highlights the role journalism has played in keeping Australia a vibrant democracy, told in the words of reporters who give readers an insight into the traction their stories gained.

The report, now in its second year, is a dive into the year’s biggest stories covered by each masthead, including exclusive investigations into The Star casino, the missing millions from Melissa Caddick, the underground world of neo-Nazi groups in Australia, the dysfunction of the NSW regional health system, the NDIS’s failings to protect some of Victoria’s most marginalized citizens, and the unscrupulous behaviour plaguing the cosmetic surgery industry.

These investigations have resulted in real world change, leading to parliamentary inquiries [including a NSW inquiry into the $40 billion rail network and another into NSW regional hospitals], fresh probes from counter-terrorism police into right-wing extremism, criminal investigations [including an AFP investigation into people associated with Nuix] and reporting that resulted in more victims of fraudster Melissa Caddick coming forward after revealing she had forged CommSec accounts.

The past 12 months has been another massive news year, with journalists from the Herald and The Age covering everything from the vaccine rollout, state politics stories including the shock resignation of the NSW Premier, Indigenous Affairs, the Tokyo Olympics, women’s equality, climate change including the COP26 summit, our relationship with China and the very public fallout between Australia and France.

With more than 53,000 articles published over the past year – with 5448 opinions from 1500 voices – the Impact Reports illustrate how the mastheads also provided an escape from Covid-19 news.

The Life & Culture teams provided in uplifting and positive content as cities re-emerged from lockdowns; in a year where travel and dining out seemed lost forever, the teams from Good Food and Traveller kept the wanderlust and gourmand dreams alive; and Good Weekend continued its long form journalism.

2021 has also seen the Herald and The Age expand the way they tell stories, with the launch of the National News Live blog, Money with Jess weekly newsletter and growing the podcast offering with series such as Bondi Badlands.

The Herald and The Age newsrooms took the skills forged in the rolling crises of the prior two years and swung back into pandemic mode in 2021 with full force, with rolling live coverage, data interactives, deep scientific inquiry, political analysis, empathetic human stories, podcasts, videos and more,” said Tory Maguire, executive editor of The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

“This impact report, however, reminds us our pandemic coverage was just one element in a huge year of the mastheads breaking the biggest stories and providing the most comprehensive high- quality coverage of our city, our state, our nation, and our place in the world.”

The 2021 Impact Reports for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age are published here and here.

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