Misplaced Sydney pages prompt unwanted comment

A production stuff-up which saw pages from the Sydney Morning Herald appear in the rival Daily Telegraph has reignited debate about changes to the paper, especially since it was bought by Nine Entertainment.

Some regional readers of the News-owned (Sydney) Daily Telegraph received copies containing comment pages from the Herald, thanks to an error the paper has dismissed as "causing confusion".

A deal last year between News and then-owner of the SMH Fairfax Media saw production of the Fairfax daily move from its North Richmond plant to News Chullora print site, enabling Fairfax to close the former Newcastle Herald plant at Beresfield.

No statement has been seen from News or Nine, but in a comment on Twitter,

@DailyTelegraph apologised "for any confusion this has caused".

It pointed to the arrangement under which both papers share the same printing facility, and said "the error happened during the production process".

News has five manroland Geoman presses at Chullora, close by to the factory in which the Sydney Morning Herald was once printed, prior to plant there being scrapped in a $42 million savings plan.

Despite the time it took to reach an agreement, the two rival newspapers are not unusual in being printed on the same plant. It's an arrangement copied in thousands of cities around the world.

What is unusual and hard to forgive is an embarrassing error of this scale happening... and being dismissed so lightly. The result has been that a brief video showing the error has been viewed half a million times, and the value of printed newspapers has once again been presented as a topic for debate.

Peter Coleman

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