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Andrew Bolt (born 26 September 1959) is an Australian newspaper columnist and conservative pundit. Bolt is a columnist and associate editor of the Melbourne-based Herald Sun. He also writes for Brisbane's Sunday Mail and makes regular appearances on Channel 9, ABC Television, and local radio. In 2005, Bolt released his first book, a compilation of newspaper columns, titled The Best of Andrew Bolt - Still Not Sorry.[1]



Born to newly-arrived Dutch migrants, Bolt spent his childhood in remote rural areas such as Tarcoola, while his father worked as a schoolteacher and principal. After graduating from secondary school, Bolt travelled and worked overseas before returning to Australia and starting university studies. After a year he left university to take up a cadetship at The Age, a Melbourne broadsheet newspaper. He worked for The Age in various roles, including as a sports writer, prior to joining The Herald, which in 1990 merged with The Sun News-Pictorial to form the Herald Sun. He is married to Sally Morrell, a fellow Herald Sun columnist. They have three young children.

Controversy and criticism

In June 2003 Bolt published an article criticising Andrew Wilkie in which he quoted from a classified intelligence document written by Wilkie as an intelligence analyst for the Office of National Assessments. It was claimed, but never proven, that someone in Foreign Minister Alexander Downer's office had leaked the document to Bolt.[2] A spokesperson for the Australian Federal Police said that they do not have any evidence to identify the culprit.[3]

Bolt became involved in a dispute with journalist David Marr following the 21 July 2003 episode of Media Watch in which Marr claimed that Bolt's column "A Kick Up The Arts" (2 June 2003) had unfairly represented author Alison Broinowski. In a bitter exchange aired through both the Herald Sun and Media Watch, Bolt demanded Marr apologise for lying about him, while Marr countered that Bolt liked dishing out criticism, but could not take it himself.[4]

Bolt has frequently clashed with Robert Manne, Professor of Politics at La Trobe University about the Stolen Generation. Bolt claims that there were no large-scale removals of children "for purely racist reasons". After Bolt challenged Manne to "name just 10" children stolen for racial reasons,[5] Manne gave him a four-page list of names[6] which, Bolt states, includes children rescued from sexual abuse and removed for other humanitarian reasons.[7] Manne argued that Bolt's failure to address the wealth of documentary and anecdotal evidence demonstrating the existence of the Stolen Generation amounts to a clear case of historical denialism.[8] Bolt noted multiple instances of contemporary Aboriginal children being left "in grave danger that we would not tolerate for children of any other race because we are so terrified of the 'stolen generations' myth."[9]

Defamation case

In 2002, Magistrate Jelena Popovic was awarded $246,000 damages for defamation after suing Bolt and the publishers of the Herald Sun over a 13 December 2000 column in which he claimed she had "hugged two drug traffickers she let walk free". Popovic asserted she had in fact shaken their hands to congratulate them on having completed a rehabilitation program. The jury found that the article was not true, that it was not a faithful and accurate record of judicial proceedings and that it was not fair comment on a matter of public interest. It found that the column had, however, been reasonable and not malicious.[10]

Bolt emerged from the Supreme Court after the jury verdict, stating his column had been accurate and that the mixed verdict was a victory for free speech. His statement outside the court was harshly criticised by Supreme Court judge Bernard Bongiorno, who later overturned the jury's decision, ruling that Bolt had not acted reasonably because he did not seek a response from Ms Popovic before writing the article and, in evidence given during the trial, showed he did not care whether or not the article was defamatory. Justice Bongiorno included $25,000 punitive damages in his award against Bolt and the newspaper for both the "misleading" and "disingenuous" comments he had made outside court and the newspaper's reporting of the jury's decision. The Court of Appeal later reversed the $25,000 punitive damages, though it upheld the defamation finding, describing Bolt's conduct as "at worst, dishonest and misleading and at best, grossly careless."[11]


In May 2005, Bolt established a web-only forum in which readers could offer comments, feedback and questions in response to his columns. He posted some of these comments, together with brief responses, in the late afternoon of every business day, on the Herald Sun website. Despite its low-budget format, the forum was a pioneering experiment in Internet-aided "interactive journalism".

Bolt's forum changed to a more conventional blog format in July 2006. The blog covers a wide variety of topics, including climate change, Australian politics, the ABC and issues concerned with multiculturalism and Islam. Comments are open but are moderated to remove defamation, obscenities and so on. Bolt states that abusive commenters will be banned, but opposing voices will not.[12] In late 2009, Bolt temporarily restricted comments to one "readers' tips" post per day.

Bolt's blog registered one million hits for the month of July 2008[13] and "more than 2 million page impressions from more than 300,000 unique browsers" for November 2009.[14]


  1. ^ Andrew Bolt (2005). Still Not Sorry: The Best of Andrew Bolt. News Custom Publishing. ISBN 1-921116-02-1.  
  2. ^ Alan Ramsey (2006-03-24). "Bolt from blue sets tongues wagging". The Sydney Morning Herald.  
  3. ^ "Democratic Sabotage". Media Watch.  
  4. ^ "Bolt of fury". Media Watch. 2003-07-21.  
  5. ^ Andrew Bolt (2006-06-28). "Be a Manne and name just 10". Herald Sun.,21985,19610693-25717,00.html.  
  6. ^
  7. ^ Andrew Bolt (2006-09-05). "Stolen generations: My Melbourne Writers’ Festival speech". Herald Sun.  
  8. ^ Robert Manne (2006-09-09). "The cruelty of denial". The Age.  
  9. ^ Andrew Bolt (2006-09-19). "Another stolen life". Herald Sun.  
  10. ^ "Popovic v Herald & Weekly Times Limited & Anor (No. 2) [2002] VSC 220". Australasian Legal Information Institute. 2002-06-06.  
  11. ^ "Herald & Weekly Times Ltd & Bolt v Popovic [2003] VSCA 161". Australasian Legal Information Institute. 2003-11-21.  
  12. ^ Andrew Bolt, commenting on moderation policy (at "Tue 30 Oct 07 (09:01pm)"): "Dumb abuse gets you snipped, but dumb posts don’t."
  13. ^ Andrew Bolt (1 August 2008). "One million blogging warnings to a lazy media". Herald Sun.,21985,24109727-25717,00.html.  
  14. ^ Andrew Bolt (7 December 2009). "Two million hits a month". Herald Sun.  

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