A year of COVID-induced border shutdowns has seen state politics rival Canberra for space on newspaper front pages.
Streem has published its annual list of journalists at major newsrooms with the most page-one bylines in print, and ‘lead position’ bylines online. The list is traditionally dominated by federal politics reporters, and while they also featured heavily in 2020, several state politics writers came out on top for their newspapers.
*(The Courier Mail’s Jessica Marszalek, News.com.au’s Samantha Maiden and the Daily Telegraph’s Clare Armstrong all featured in the list of leading journalists in 2020)*
The Sydney Morning Herald, The Courier-Mail and Adelaide’s Advertiser were three newspapers whose state political writers were no.1 for page ones in 2020.
Australia’s two national newspapers, the AFR and Australian, were both dominated by federal politics, with Phillip Coorey and Simon Benson recording the most page-one bylines of any reporters at one publication.
Other federal political reporters to feature heavily included The West Australian’s Lanai Scarr, David Crowe and Shane Wright from the SMH and Age, and Clare Armstrong and Tom Minear from News Corp.
The most page-ones and number-ones of 2020
Newly recruited National Political Editor Samantha Maiden also garnered the most homepage lead positions on news.com.au despite only joining the site in April.
Of the 223 reporters to feature in the print and online lists, 41 per cent were women and 59 per cent men. Print was more skewed towards men, with two thirds of entrants male.
The most articles of 2020
Streem’s analysis also looked at which online reporters from 20 leading websites had written the most stories this year.
Seven of the journalists with the 10 most bylines came from Daily Mail Australia’s TV & Showbiz round, while the remaining three – including overall number one Emily Olle – were from the 7news.com.au desk.
All 10 recorded more than 1100 bylines each, which was more than last year’s number one, Caleb Taylor. Taylor was fifth on this year’s list.
Olle’s 1340 stories in a year averages out to nearly six per workday throughout 2020.
Streem Media and Partnerships Lead Conal Hanna said reporters’ hard work came amid difficult times for the media industry in 2020.
“There has certainly been no shortage of news this year, but unfortunately the economics of media became even more difficult thanks to the pandemic, and we saw a number of lay-offs at leading companies,” Hanna said.
“I think there are probably lots of reporters out there who would say they’ve never worked harder than this year.”
The list did not count joint bylines, which means the total numbers of stories and page ones for many journalists would have been considerably higher, Hanna said.
“The pandemic in particular has been a complicated, multi-faceted issue which has often required many journalists to contribute to a single story.
“Many websites had their lead position taken up for months by coronavirus live blogs that had numerous authors.”
Streem is Australia’s leading comprehensive and realtime media monitoring, analysis and media data provider, delivering Print, Online, TV, Radio and Social content to the country’s largest organisations. A media-technology company, Streem’s customers include Telstra, Qantas, the Commonwealth Bank and multiple federal and state government departments.