The other day I mentioned that the NT News was the only reliable news source and my go-to publication for current affairs updates. While this was mostly a joke it’s one a frequently make because I do read the NT News online on the almost-daily.
I was challenged by a friend on this recently
“Are you serious?!”
To which my boyfriend answered
“Obviously she’s joking”
To which I shrieked
And I’m not joking. At least not completely…
The NT News is the only major daily newspaper in the whole of the Northern Territory, the Australian state that’s technically a territory not a state and the place everyone always forgets about because of its cyclones and bogans and crocodiles.
Exhibit A: Taylor Swift isn’t going to Perth on her Australian tour next year and Perth is like hella mad about it using the hashtag #TaylorSwiftAddPerthDates to no avail.
#TaylorSwiftAddDarwinDates said no one ever, because, unlike Perth, Darwin accepts that it’s not that great of a place to visit, and I respect that.
I am actually heading to Darwin for the Christmas break on Wednesday. It will be blisteringly hot, horribly humid and there may or may not be a cyclone on Christmas Day but in honour of my visit I wanted to reminisce about the NT News and why it is wonderful:
You’ll Always Belong
There are around 150,000 people living in Darwin, the NT’s capital. While this isn’t tiny small it’s small enough for you to know someone by less than 6 degrees of separation.
Because I grew up in NZ people often say to me “Oh, a kiwi, do you know ___________?” NZ might look small on a map but it’s still an entire country with 4 million people on it. So, no, I probably don’t know your cousin’s cousin on your step mum’s side.
On the other hand, if “Oh, you’re from Darwin, do you know ________” is the question, the answer is probably, sadly, yes. Yes I do… (but then again everybody does…?).
Darwin is small enough that my friend’s Dad coined the phrase “The Darwin Swivel”. A term used to describe the action of scanning the vicinity for the person or anyone who may know the person you are about to talk about in an unfriendly manner.
But let’s back track to what I said before, for a moment.
“You’re from Darwin”
The NT News doesn’t care where you are from, really. Whether you’ve been in the Territory for 4 generations, 40 years, 4 months or you backpacked there on your gap year for four weeks and you actually live in Sweden, if you want to call NT home, they’ll welcome you with open arms. I only lived in Darwin for two years during high school, but if I ever do something wonderful with my life, the NT News headline will be
Territorian, Sophie, Does Something Wonderful
When you travel, people always ask you where you are from and I struggle with this a bit because I don’t know what to say. I was born in London and grew up in NZ but I don’t feel like I can say with confidence I am from either of those places anymore. Melbourne is the same though I’ve lived here for twice as long as I lived in Darwin. Nevertheless, if I say “I’m from Darwin”, it doesn’t feel fraudulent because (though they’ve set the bar extremely low) I know Darwin accepts me as one of their own.
The Stories Are Always…. unique
Partly because the place itself is unique (not to mention the people). Partly because if there isn’t a naked bogan or a crocodile on the cover it’s been a slow news week. Truth really is stranger than fiction.
Here are some NT News covers from over the years:
and here is me with an artist’s depiction of Kevin The Horny Ghost:
Seriously. You can’t make this shit up.