The contrast between how broadsheet and tabloid newspapers covered the launch of the Asian Century White Paper on Sunday is telling. The Australian gave it saturation coverage and rolled out its big columnists to provide analysis. The Sydney Morning Herald also provided front-page coverage and considered analysis.

The Daily Telegraph, Sydney's largest circulation paper, relegated coverage to a single 1/4-page story on p.10, next to an equally sized one about the family pet. The pet story got a colour photo.

The Asian Century White Paper is the latest and most comprehensive embrace by Australia's political and wider elite of Australia's unquestioned membership in Asia and the need for Australia to change accordingly. The biggest problem with this assertion is not the difficulties of the policy reforms mentioned in the White Paper. It is that a majority of Australians refuse to join in this embrace.

The 2010 Lowy Institute Poll asked Australians which region Australia belonged to — it was a dead heat between Asia, the Pacific and none. Clearly, broadsheet editors think their readers belong to the Asia minority while tabloid editors seem to think differently about their readers.

Photo by Flickr user lonely radio.