Interview with Matt Williams, Editor of NT News
Matt Williams began his career in journalism in 2002 at the Port Lincoln Times in South Australia as a journalist. A year later, he moved to The Advertiser to work in various roles and stayed there for 10 years. In 2013, he moved to Darwin to take on a role as chief-of-staff at the NT News. Matt moved up the ranks at the paper, becoming deputy editor in 2014, editor of the Sunday Territorian a year later, and then editor of NT News in 2016.
What is your favourite NT News headline and why?
In my time as editor, my favourite heading is ‘Why I’ve Got Some Sticky Near My Dicky’. The cricket scandal was one of the biggest news stories of the year, and my deputy editor Ken McGregor nailed it with a cracking NT News take on it which was liked by millions.
As someone who loves crocodile stories, what sets a good crocodile story apart from another?
Every croc story has its own uniqueness, and every croc story is a good one for the NT News, but when it involves a monster croc it makes it even better.
What makes a press release stand out from others in your inbox?
Something with a catchy subject line that has a local angle. If it doesn’t immediately grab my attention I’ll move on to the other 400-odd emails I’ve got to trawl through every day.
Which pressing issues in the Northern Territory are currently capturing your attention?
The economy is struggling, so we’re watching it very closely. I think the Territory is well positioned for great growth over the next decade and it’s going to be an interesting journey to watch it unfold. We seem to be at the bottom of the economic cycle, so surely the only way is up. We’re doing what we can to stimulate some action at a government level.
What are the challenges and rewards of being a newspaper editor?
It’s the best job in the world. To be given a blank canvas every day, and not knowing what’s going to happen, makes it exciting to build something from scratch. One of the big challenges is trying to juggle the newspaper and website at the same time. They are different beasts and require different treatments. You have to make an enormous amount of decisions on the run every day to keep our readers happy.