Guardian

Jul 10, 2014

Exclusive watch: what makes an exclusive, and who has the most?

An investigation? An interview? Or a drop? There appears to be no consensus on what deserves to be called an exclusive in Australia's major papers.

Myriam Robin — Media Reporter

Myriam Robin

Media Reporter

An interview no one else has, an investigation, a leak or a drop. These types of stories are exclusive to the media outlets that publish them, meaning you're unlikely to read them, at least not immediately, in any other paper. Journalism is intensely competitive, and so it's no wonder editors jealously guard their exclusives. News Corp, Channel 7 and the ABC have all sent legal letters to Daily Mail Australia in recent months asking it to stop nicking theirs. And journalists will often argue about who, in fact, got the story first. As editor-in-chief of The Australian Chris Mitchell puts it: exclusives sell newspapers. “Much of the driver for us is exclusive news. I’m regularly criticised on Crikey for the number of red exclusives, but they are quite important to driving digital subscriptions,” he said in an Oz interview recently. Readers can assume original work went into most of the stories they read. But what about those stories that have that little bit extra -- that exclusive quality that deserves to be trumpeted? Among Australia's major newspapers, there's no real consensus on what makes an exclusive, a Crikey investigation has found. Your correspondent trawled through five days' worth of the paper editions of the Daily Telegraph, the Sydney Morning Herald, the Herald Sun, The Age, The Australian Financial Review and The Australian for every instance the word "exclusive" appeared above a story. It quickly became clear that the nation's two best-selling tabloids, the Daily Telegraph and the Herald Sun, don't really bother. For The Australian and The Australian Financial Review however, exclusives are to be declared wherever possible.

Stories billed as "exclusive", June 30 - July 4

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