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Panpa Bulletin : November 2010
MEMbER PRoFILE Visit websend.com.au to download the new and improved FREE iQChaser application or call 1300 798 949 for a demonstration. Streamline your ad workflow process with one simple application iQChaser is simple, multi-user platform software that streamlines and complements the day-to-day ad production environment. FREE iQChaser application or call iQChaser application or call iQChaser Streamline your ad workflow process with one simple application iQChaser is simple, multi-user platform software that streamlines and FREE TO ALL PUBLISHERS www.panpa.org.au The PANPA Bulletin | NOVEMBER 2010 | 1 UNSUSPECTING tourists wanting happy-snaps next to crocodile traps can get a “snap” they were not ex- pecting in Australia’s Northern Ter- ritory. And there’s nothing like a good “Croc Attack!” splash to sell copies of the NT News - readers in the trop- ics love a cracking croc yarn. “I don’t want to sound merce- nary,” says Julian Ricci, editor of the Murdoch-owned paper, “but those stories and pictures are good for business. “Most of the pictures come from readers. We don’t go around waiting for crocodiles to attack tourists. They are the ones silly enough to stand next to traps or pose for a photo with a crocodile in the background.” Croc stories are not run as often as everyone thinks, he says. “When we publish them, every other newspaper in the country runs them, so many Australians get the wrong impression.” The NT News is the newspaper of Darwin, capital of the Northern Territory. Remote. Parochial. Unique. The newspaper is young at just 59 years but the history of newspapers in these parts goes back more than 140 years. The Moonta Herald was printed by hand on a ship in 1868 when Darwin was called Palmerston. It lasted six editions. Five years later the government launched the Northern Territory Times, run by Adelaide journalist Richard Wells. He brought the city’s first press on a ship from South Australia. He died two years later on the same vessel, drowned in wreckage off the Queensland coast. The Times continued until 1932. For seven years, from 1883, it had a rival called the North Australian. Eventually the two merged in a stra- tegic consolidation that sounds all too familiar today. The resulting lack of diversity was as equally lamented then as now, so the North Australian Workers’ Un- ion put The Northern Standard into the market. Full of pro-Labor Party stories, it saw off the Times, which closed, and watched the sinking of another publication, The Proletarian, which lasted four months under the ownership of the territory’s Commu- nist Party. When the Pacific War broke out in 1941, armed forces were despatched north and Army News began pub- lishing, having bought the local communists’ printing press. Newspaper publishing continued to be a haphazard business and eventually settled into its modern- day form when the NT News was launched as a weekly on February 8, 1952, slowly expanding one day at a time to become a daily in 1964. It was one of the first newspapers a young Rupert Murdoch, based in Adelaide, bought. He took over in 1960 when it was a biweekly. He inherited a remarkable editor Jim Bowditch, a Rat of Tobruk, he edited the paper for three decades, and Mr Ricci says his memory lives on with the older readers. He died in 1996 and was, coincidentally, the fa- ther-in-law of Col Allen, one of Mur- doch’s most loyal editors who current- ly terrorises the New York natives as editor-in-chief of the Daily Post. Today, like the Post, the NT News is a racy tabloid. Ricci says colleagues and British readers sometimes com- ment on its similarity in philosophy and execution to The Sun in London – a remark greeted as a “huge compli- ment”. Not everyone loves the NT News, especially those at Australia’s na- tional broadcaster, the ABC, which produces a name ’n’ shame weekly show about the nation’s media, called MediaWatch. If anything has put Mr Ricci and his NT News team on the map, then it’s been MediaWatch, which loves to castigate the paper for its excesses. “They’re our unpaid publicist,” says Mr Ricci. “I don’t think the pa- per would be nearly as well known without MediaWatch. “We’d never say, ‘we don’t care what they say about us’, but re- ally, what the hell would they know about what makes a good story up here, when they’re sipping their soy lattes in another universe?” NT News certainly exists in a paral- lel universe. Mr Ricci says the GFC has not created a murmur in the ter- ritory. Business is good and confi- dence is up. He’s also confident of higher cir- culations – the daily sells a shade under 22,000 copies – when anoth- er 1500 workers and their families are likely to move to Darwin once the prospective IM PEX gas export project gets the official tick. Right now, the armed forces per- sonnel are a key reader segment, so a crisp, tabloid approach by the 45- strong newsroom is essential, says Mr Ricci. Their beat is twice the size of Texas – 1.2 million sq kms but most of the action centres on Darwin and neigh- bouring Palmerston and Katherine. The paper has the patch to itself, notwithstanding The Australian and Financial Review which arrive later in the day. Mr Ricci says he has a friendly rivalry with sister paper The Cen- tralian, a biweekly based in Alice Springs. This title claims to have the greatest readership penetration of anywhere in the world – 74 percent of the population. The NT News grabs about 1000 sales a day in the Alice, although sales slow when The Centralian hits the streets. Both newspapers have a strong coverage of Aboriginal issues. “Most people would find this hard to believe, but we do write stories highlighting the crisis in Aboriginal communities,” continues Mr Ricci. “We don’t do it every day but our editorial policy is for the federal government to step in and provide greater resources for the disadvan- taged. The situation is a shame on the nation.” The culture of the paper also en- courages fun across its 155-strong staff. “We have a great group of people. Everyone is encouraged to have a bit of a laugh and that comes through in our newspaper, especially on the front pages.” Mr Ricci says he drives this phi- losophy but only recognised the value of fun at work after moving to Darwin six years ago, leaving behind the high-pressure atmosphere of the Daily Telegraph in Sydney, where he had worked for 10 years. “This is my first editorship, and I had grand ideas about saving the world and I tried a couple of ideas that tanked miserably – they were all worthy, broadsheet topics that we put on the front page. “It was boring and it did not work. The readership here is different. They want these stories, but not on the front page.” Even in such a remote location, the NT News faces the challenge of technology. Mr Ricci says the ABC now offers on the web “competition that we never faced two years ago . . . itkeepsusonourtoes”. “We are constantly thinking about how we re-present the news,” he continues. “Our online site still punches above its weight in terms of traffic and we have big plans for our mobile computing strategy.” It’s not like the old days. Mr Ricci says that at his first journo job, at the Atherton Tablelander in Queensland, “I was asked if I had my own type- writer, so I had to buy one, and I had to buy my own camera, and then I wastoldIneededtobyacar... not to get around in to report but to deliver the newspapers.” Times may be changing but eve- ryone will always love a good croc- attack splash. MINISTRY OF SOUND DISCOVERY THIS SAT PUB:NTNEWSDATE:30-SEP-2010PAGE:1COLOR:CMYK MYSTERY NUMBER BUY THIS PAPER AND YOU COULD WIN THE JACKPOT! Moneyjackpots each day Monday to Friday by $10 $1450 JACKPOT LUCKY NUMBER TO WIN INSTANTLY RING 1900 966 372 Conditions: Page 2 AND KEY IN YOUR LUCKY NUMBER Thursday, September 30, 2010 ntnews.com.au $1.20 Incl GST Countryfreight 20 cents extra >>SPORT ABLETT’S $86,000 A MATCH DEAL If you thought Casper was friendly, you should meet Kevin INSIDE Annie Sanson’s exclusive story: P2 50 MOST STYLISH WE’RE INTO OUR FINAL 10 >>P20 HORNY GHOST HAUNTS HOUSE Picture: JUSTIN SANSON MINISTRY OF SOUND DISCOVERY THIS SAT LUCKY NUMBER TO WIN INSTANTLY RING 1900 966 372 Conditions: Page 2 AND KEY IN YOUR LUCKY NUMBER $1.20 Incl GST Cou In Cou In ntryfreight In ntryfreight In 20 cen In 20 cen InIn ntryfreight In 20 cen In ntryfreight InIn ts extra InIn ntryfreight In ts extra In ntryfreight In If you thought Casper was friendly, If you thought Casper was friendly, 50 MOST STYLISH 50 MOST STYLISH WE’RE INTO OUR FINAL 10 >>P20 >>P20 HORNY GHOST HORNY GHOST HORNY GHOST HORNY GHOST HORNY GHOST HORNY GHOST HORNY GHOST HORNY GHOST HORNY GHOST HORNY GHOST HORNY GHOST HORNY GHOST HORNY GHOST HORNY GHOST HORNY GHOST HORNY GHOST HORNY GHOST HAUNTS HOUSE HAUNTS HOUSE HAUNTS HOUSE Picture: JUSTIN SANSON Picture: JUSTIN SANSON COOKING DEMOS EVERY SAT 11-1 DARWIN FISH MARKET PUB:NTNEWSDATE:24-JUL-2010PAGE:1COLOR:CMYKmg040612 Saturday, July 24, 2010 ntnews.com .au $1.60 Incl GST Countryfreight 30cents extra $5 NT News stubbie coolers at the show WHILE STOCKS LAST >>P3 Get your Jetstar entry form to win flights DETAILS >>P3 GNE TROPPOPolice called to 480 jobs as full moon closes in 3 30 youths in wild street brawl before police chase 2 Naked man flees aftercaught swimming in posh hotel pool 1 INSIDE Read about Darwin’s night of madness: P4 Have your say: ntnews.com.au Picture: BRAD FLEET The NT News brings a unique tabloid approach to covering Australia’s remote Northern Territory. We go beyond the croc attack headlines for an interview with editor Julian Ricci Tabloid bites croc This is my first editorship, and i had grand ideas about saving the world and i tried a couple of ideas that tanked miserably – they were all worthy, broadsheet topics that we put on the front page” “ Julian Ricci, editor of the NT News