Journalistically, we also felt that Australia — and its role in the region — offered a rich vein of reporting for us, especially in relation to issues of global importance such as climate change, migration, gender, and the role of China. As we continue to expand our coverage worldwide, we wanted to make sure Australian stories and readers were prioritized.
I fought to come here for all these reasons — and because it’s a great place to live.
Are you offering a local Australia edition?
To add more journalistic heft and to ensure we understand who we’re serving, we have a small bureau in Sydney (around a half-dozen people) plus contributors in Melbourne and a few other locations. We are constantly experimenting with what kinds of news coverage and enterprise stories provide the most added value to our regular readers, and draw in new ones.
We also know you like to read New York Times reporting on Donald J. Trump, our take on Beijing and Silicon Valley, and we know you cherish Modern Love. Great!
That’s why we bundle our most important global, local (and delightful) stories for you every day in our Morning Briefing. And then, with the Australia Letter, I attempt to add some personal insights from our bureau here, along with New York Times stories you might have missed and local recommendations drawn from our community.
The mix also includes more opinion coverage from and about Australia and we’re bringing in New York Times journalists for reporting trips and events. For example, Bret Stephens, one of our Opinion columnists, is here now — you might have seen him on Q&A.
In October, Joe Kahn, our managing editor, will be here to deliver the Andrew Olle Media Lecture and we’ll be hosting public events where you’ll have a chance to hear him talk about this extraordinary moment in news.
All together, we aim to add a global perspective, cover news selectively, and experiment with new experiences of journalism (this illustrated poll is a personal favorite).
Our ultimate goal: to do stories that reveal Australia to itself and to the world.
But who are you writing for?
Our audience is curious, eager to be informed — and blurs the line between local and international.
From what we can tell so far, our most loyal readers are “globalizers,” a mix of Australians in Australia (many with experience abroad) plus Australians living in other countries, Americans and other expats in Australia, and those of various backgrounds who have a connection to Australia or who are just curious and eager to understand this part of the world. That includes quite a few Americans.
Are the journalists in the Australia bureau American too?
I’m American, yes, and so is Diana Oliva Cave, who oversees our video efforts (and happens to be my wife). Everyone else is Australian.
• Jacqueline Williams is an investigative reporter originally from Canberra.
• Tacey Rychter, our audience editor, is a proud Melburnian who was traveling in Vietnam when she was hired.
• Isabella Kwai grew up in Sydney’s northwest suburbs. I dragged her back from Washington, where she was a fellow at The Atlantic.
• Adam Baidawi’s family is from Iraq but he lives in Melbourne.
• Vicky Xiuzhong Xu is our intern. She was born in China and is a student at the University of Melbourne.
We also have contributors we rely on regularly, including Sarah Malik, David Maurice Smith, and Asanka Brendon Ratnayake, and we work closely with editors, developers and business colleagues in Hong Kong and New York.
Our regular opinion writers in Australia include Julia Baird, Lisa Pryor, and Waleed Aly.
Then why do report money in U.S. dollars, instead of Australian? Why miles, not kilometers or kilometres? Why French fries, instead of chips?
The New York Times is U.S.-based publication with a global readership. Articles about Australian topics are also read by people in the United States and around the world, so we follow New York Times style for consistency.
That said, we’re making an the effort to include kilometers and local currency for Australian articles when possible.
We’ve successfully lobbied for a change to The New York Times style guide to make sure Indigenous and Aboriginal are capitalized when referring to Australia’s First Peoples. And we are working with our technology team on a geo-targeted solution that would seemlessly integrate currency, measurement, and date formats that are sensitive to cultural differences around the world.
Are there specific subjects you’re covering?
We’re covering a range of stories, some big (race, the death and possible revival of the Great Barrier Reef), some smaller and telling (lawn bowling meets Beyoncé, for a feature we call The Breakdown).
We try to prioritize on-the-ground coverage and emphasize stories and themes that speak to global issues playing out in Australia. We aim to stay above the fray here in a very partisan media market. We aim to be bold with visual stories. We aim to listen and connect with our audience in new ways (our subscriber-only Facebook group, for example) and we aim to evolve as we go.
How’s it going?
So far, so good. The audience is growing: readership is up 30 percent year over year; active subscribers are up 45 percent since January, 95 percent year over year.
We’re adding a local restaurant critic. We have our managing editor, Mr. Kahn, here in late October for a series of events. We’re bolstering our visual journalism, adding resources to our business development team, and planning some new community experiments as well.
Also, we have some big stories in the works.
Do you accept pitches or submissions from freelancers?
While we mostly use in-house staff and an established base of freelancers, we do consider pitches from new writers.
Pitches can be sent to email@example.com. Please make sure your pitch includes the following in no more than two paragraphs.
• What is your story idea and what does it reveal about Australia in the context of the world?
• How will you take the reader through the story? Which characters do you plan to talk to?
• Why are you the best person to write this story? Have you had previous experience with this topic?
Please also send samples of your best work. We appreciate pitches that show evidence of in-depth reporting and sharp analysis.
Can I work with the New York Times in Australia?
Please see available employment at The New York Times.
Who do I email if I have a news tip?
Please email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Phew. That should do it. Now for some stories!
China in Art and Airports
Foreign corresondence is never just politics and economics — it’s also culture, and Jane Perlez does a great job using a new exhibition of Chinese artists at The Guggenheim to explore identity, protest and the creative culture of China over the past few decades. This piece on the potential flaws (and proto-colonialism) of China’s giant infrastructure investments around the world is also worth a read.
Bret Stephens in Oz
Bret Stephens, one of our new Opinion columnists, is in Australia this week doing a series of events and interviews. His views on climate change have made him a lightning rod for criticism from the left, but have you read him on North Korea? Or immigration? The New York Times Opinion section has long been dedicated to consistently surprising readers, and Bret is just one example of that effort.
Rescuing the Reef?
While we’re on the subject of climate change, it’s also worth noting that we have an entire team in the New York newsroom that’s dedicated to covering this issue all over the world. That’s who edited my story this week, about scientists’ efforts to save the Great Barrier Reef and other coral reefs through “assisted evolution.”
Cara Buckley’s profile of Angelina Jolie is both revealing and wonderfully written (“glamazon” is such a great word for the star’s early image). And this desconstruction of Darren Aronofsky’s latest confounding drama, “Mother,” is also not to be missed. It’s Melena Ryzik talking about the movie with Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem and Mr. Aronofsky. Finally, on the movie front, check out our story out of New Zealand about “Moana” in the Maori language, or “te reo Māori.”
…And We Recommend
I’ve been a sugar fiend since a young age (I blame my hippie parents, who used to put me to bed with apple juice) so testing a country’s sweets is an important part of my foreign correspondence portfolio.
Our neighbors introduced us early on to lamingtons (AMAZING) and of course, family life requires Tim Tams, but my latest favorite is just slightly healthier: Twisted frozen yoghurt. It’s 100 percent Australian, founded by a Bondi local, mom and food technologist, Cass Spies and while they offer a handful of enticing flavors, there is really only one that matters to me: Coconut. It’s the perfect union of tart, creamy and sweet.
See you next week!