Nine Darwin job cuts devastating: NT chief
Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner says large cuts at Nine News Darwin and the axing of the broadcaster's standalone news bulletin will damage the fabric of the community.
About a dozen staff will lose their jobs in September when the Darwin station is absorbed into the regional Queensland division, leaving behind a skeleton crew to provide local content for nationally-produced evening news bulletins.
The redundancies and loss of a local news presence will be devastating, Mr Gunner says.
He said too often the only stories to get national attention are outrageously "jocular" yarns or those that tarnish the NT's reputation, with exposes on political corruption and Aboriginal disadvantage making headlines in the past.
"I don't want the Territory image to be confined to the negative news story or the classic NT News front page," he told reporters on Tuesday.
"It needs to be more than that, and when we loose voices telling the Territory story, that hurts us all."
Mr Gunner, who grew up with Nine News in Darwin, said the station has been part of the social fabric of the community by supporting charity events and sponsoring local clubs.
He plans to lobby studio heads from southern states to reconsider the decision, and called on locals who rely on the service to make their voices heard.
"If anyone wants to provide a mobile number for a Sydney executive, I'm happy to pass it on to the general Territory community," he said.
The ABC will become the only network with a locally-produced prime time news bulletin, as Channel 7 and Channel 10 don't have dedicated news teams in Darwin.