The Bulletin, a founding father of Australian news publishing, has died at its home in Sydney after a long illness. Born in 1880 it became a home for the central discussions of early Australian politics, it championed nationalism of a particularly chest-beating type. It was racist, protectionist and isolationist. It promoted the notion of “Australia for the White Man” while launching the careers of Henry Lawson, Banjo Paterson, Bernard O’Dowd, Joseph Furphy, Miles Franklin and Vance and Nettie Palmer. By the turn of the twentieth century the “bushman’s Bible” had become something intrinsic in the national literary and political culture. It was selling 80,000 copies.

The mid-twentieth century saw The Bulletin‘s first slide to irrelevance, it became a seldom-read relic of its digger and drover days, filled with anti-semitic bile and blatant self-promoting political opportunism. It was restored in the 1960s after being bought by Sir Frank Packer. Donald Horne became editor, circulation boomed to six figures. This would be its heyday.

The long partnership with the Packer family was dealt an irreversible blow with the death of Kerry Packer in 2005. As Mr Packer’s cherished media interests were farmed out to Private Equity investors, The Bulletin‘s chronic incapacity became increasingly conspicuous. It has limped in recent years through a long twilight of palliative care, though ultimately, and in considerable pain, it was unable to sustain an independent existence. Executors switched off life support at 10.16am today. No members of the surviving family were present.