Andrew Jaspan

Andrew Jaspan AM (born 20 April 1952) is a British-Australian journalist and the co-founder of The Conversation. He was previously editor-in-chief of The Age, editor of The Observer, The Sunday Times, Scotland on Sunday, The Scotsman, and Sunday Herald, and publisher and managing editor of The Big Issue London.

Early life and education

Jaspan was born in Manchester, and lived in Australia between the ages of seven and fourteen.[1] He completed his Bachelor of Arts in Politics, Modern History and Philosophy from the University of Manchester.[2] He did his thesis on "The Role of the BBC in UK politics".


After graduating, Jaspan launched The New Manchester Review magazine which focussed on news, investigations and arts and culture.[3] To help fund the magazine, Jaspan ran Monday night concerts at the Band on the Wall pub between 1977–9, showcasing punk bands (including Joy Division, The Buzzcocks, and The Fall) as well as poets (including John Cooper Clark and Adrian Henri).[3] He then started work in the Manchester office of The Daily Telegraph and Daily Mirror in 1980.[1]

In 1983, he moved to London to join The Times, first working on the foreign news desk and then the home news desk.[1] In 1985 he joined The Sunday Times as an assistant editor.[1] In 1988 the paper's editor, Andrew Neil, asked him to move to Glasgow and launch a Scotland edition of The Sunday Times as a competitor to the newly launched Scotland on Sunday by The Scotsman Publications.[4] A year later, he moved instead to be editor of Scotland on Sunday, relaunching it as a quality newspaper which went on to establish a reputation for investigative and campaigning journalism.[4]

In 1993 he was appointed editor of The Scotsman but six months later was appointed by the Guardian Media Group as editor of The Observer.[5] In 1996 he was appointed publisher of The Big Issue, the street paper sold by the homeless.[6][7] The Founder, John Bird, asked Jaspan to improve the quality of the magazine to ensure it was less of a "pity purchase".[citation needed]

In 1998 he joined Scottish Media Group in Glasgow to prepare the business case for the launch of a new paper in 1999, The Sunday Herald.[8] Under his editorship the paper won numerous awards including Scottish Newspaper of the Year and UK Sunday Newspaper of the Year.[citation needed] The paper closed in 2018.[9]

In 2004, Jaspan was appointed editor-in-chief of The Age and The Sunday Age.[1] Throughout this time the circulation, readership and online figures increased. In 2007, The Age won the Pacific region's Newspaper of the Year award for the first time.[10] In August 2008, Jaspan left his position as part of a major restructuring of Fairfax that included 550 job losses across its Australian operations. Jaspan was replaced as editor-in-chief by Paul Ramadge in September 2008.

The Conversation

In 2008, Jaspan started work on developing The Conversation, an independent not-for-profit news and analysis website drawing authors from the university and research sector.[citation needed] The model is highly unusual for a news site: content is written by academics working in collaboration with professional editors, published open access under a Creative Commons licence, and is funded by collaborative frameworks for academic institutions.[citation needed]

The concept was initiated at the request of Glyn Davis, then the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Melbourne.[citation needed] and was a response to what Jaspan described at the time as "increasing market failure in delivering trusted content"[11] and declining editorial diversity in Australia.[12][13] The website launched in Australia in early 2011 after three years of development.

The Global Academy

Jaspan left The Conversation in April 2017 to work on establishing new media platform, The Global Academy.[citation needed] The project was initially a partnership between universities of Deakin, Melbourne, RMIT and Western Sydney. In April 2020, Jaspan moved to Monash University which became the host university for the project. He was also appointed Professor.[citation needed]

Jaspan is a graduate of the 20:20 Senior Management Program run by UK's Common Purpose; and is the Asia-Pacific Director of Innovation Media International and completed consulting roles with The New Zealand Herald and Libération (Paris).[citation needed] He was Professorial Fellow in School of Media and Communication, RMIT, Melbourne; Senior Research Fellow in the Faculty of Engineering and Infrastructure, University of Melbourne.[citation needed]

Awards and recognition

In the 2020 Queen's Birthday Honours, Jaspan was made a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia for "significant service to the print and digital media, and to tertiary education".[14]


  1. "Andrew Jaspan new Age editor-in-chief". The Age. 23 July 2004. Retrieved 30 June 2021.
  2. ORCID. "Andrew Jaspan (0000-0001-5433-2471)". Retrieved 30 June 2021.
  3. "New Manchester Review". Band on the Wall. Retrieved 30 June 2021.
  4. "Insight: How Scotland on Sunday made such a mark on Scottish journalism". 5 August 2018. Retrieved 30 June 2021.
  5. "Andrew Jaspan quits the Conversation after months of turmoil". The Guardian. 31 March 2017. Retrieved 30 June 2021.
  6. "Andrew Jaspan". LinkedIn. Retrieved 30 June 2021.
  7. Week, Marketing (6 September 1996). "Big Issue homes in on expansion". Marketing Week. Retrieved 30 June 2021.
  8. "New Scots paper in crowded market". The Independent. 23 October 2011. Retrieved 30 June 2021.
  9. "Sunday Herald shuts amid sales decline". BBC News. 3 September 2018.
  10. Ricketson, Matthew (9 August 2007). "Age voted newspaper of the year". The Age. Retrieved 30 June 2021.
  11. "The Conversation is 10". Flashes & Flames. 8 April 2021. Retrieved 4 July 2021.
  12. Jaspan, Andrew (18 June 2012). "In Australia, cutbacks and an ownership shift point toward fewer points of view". Nieman Lab.
  13. Jaspan, Andrew (3 October 2012), A new way to do journalism, TEDxCanberra, retrieved 30 June 2021
  14. "Creative Victorians recognised in Queens Birthday Honours list". Creative Victoria. 9 June 2020. Retrieved 30 June 2021.

Selected articles

Media offices
Preceded by
Magnus Linklater
Editor of The Scotsman
Succeeded by
James Seaton
Preceded by
Jonathan Fenby
Editor of The Observer
Succeeded by
Will Hutton
Preceded by
New position
Editor of the Sunday Herald
Succeeded by
Richard Walker
Preceded by
Michael Gawenda
Editor of The Age
Succeeded by
Paul Ramadge