After a year of discovering who really runs Australia, The Power Index is finally set to reveal the country's fifty most powerful people.
Throughout July, Paul Barry and The Power Index team will be counting down the most influential people in the nation from business, media, politics, sport and culture.
The Power 50 / 2012
Editor of The Daily Telegraph
Home Town: Sydney
Paul Whittaker is the boots ’n’ all editor of Sydney’s Daily Telegraph, the paper politicians’ fear, and he’s just the sort of journo Rupert Murdoch loves.
With his blue-striped shirt, dark blue tie, steel rimmed glasses and pale blonde hair, “Boris” could easily pass for a bank manager. But he must have been crossed with a pit-bull somewhere down the track, because he sinks his teeth in and never let’s go. It has won him several Walkleys along the way.
And now he has the Daily Terror to attack with. With a circulation of 350,000 (150,000 more than rival the Sydney Morning Herald) and a readership of almost a million -- out west where it matters -- the paper has the power to swing votes, set the shock jocks barking and keep our leaders in line, or so the theory goes.
They've even tried to goad the current NSW premier into action, lampooning him as “Barrier O’Farrell”. Perhaps it worked: BOF has sinced embarked on a crusade to sell off the monorail, slash the public service and privatise the state's electricity companies.
However, Whittaker has managed to upset federal communications minister Stephen Conroy, who has described the paper as “feral” and accused it of running a “jihad” against the government. Since then, and the arrival of new News Ltd boss Kim Williams, the Tele seems to have been on a tighter leash, despite having so many tasty targets.