The decision by News Corp Australia to print The Australian and The Weekend Australian in Darwin completes a national publishing link that began more than 40 years ago when The Australian moved its offices from Canberra to Sydney.
The Australian began publishing in Canberra on July 14, flying stereo matts to major cities from which printing plates were cast to print the newspaper locally. From early in the 1970s, the negatives of the paper were transmitted by facsimile from Sydney to Melbourne and Brisbane where the paper was printed transported to other centres.
With the installation of the Newsman colour offset presses thoughout the News group in Australia, other major cities began also began to publish the paper. Now The Australian is printed in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Townville, Adelaide, Perth and Hobart. From later this month it will begin print in Darwin, making the broadsheet truly a national daily in terms of its print sites, rather than distribution.
The paper previously been delivered to Darwin by air from other states, resulting in extra freight charges and delays for NT readers.
Now freight charges will be removed altogether for copies of the two papers sold in Darwin, and reduced for copies sold in Katherine, Jabiru, Alyangula and Nhulunbuy.
The Australian’s editor-in-chief Chris Mitchell, said: “The Australian has two senior journalists based in Darwin – northern correspondent Amos Aikman and writer Nicolas Rothwell. Printing the newspaper in Darwin will only enhance this coverage, ensuring a wider audience for our important journalism. This development makes sense for the Territory.”