Press Office — U89North Wing, Upper floor
Room U89 is located in the Press Gallery on the House of Representatives side of the Old Parliament House building and was used by press journalists to report and record political issues between 1927 and 1988. Part of the original plans for the building, U89 currently retains a similar form to how it would have appeared at the opening of Parliament House in 1927. One of the few alterations to the room occurred prior to 1950 when recording booths and an interconnecting door to Room U90 were inserted. Historically, Room U89 is significant as it was occupied by the Australian Broadcasting Commission during the 1950s and 1960s, and then the Australian Associated Press (AAP). Room U89 was then used as a News Limited library and clippings service throughout the 1980s until parliament and press departed the building in 1988.
Provisional Parliament House was one of the first of its kind to provide specially built accommodation for journalists within the legislative chamber (above the presiding officers in each chamber) marking the increasing importance of the media to both parliament and in everyday life. After 1927, advances in technology led to radio and television broadcasts of parliament and the Press Gallery adapted to suit these changes. In both television and radio the first broadcasts marked historic occasions—with the first direct radio coverage being the announcement of the end of World War II, and the first televised broadcast marking the historic Joint Sitting of both Houses in 1974. In 1927, the Press Gallery held only 25 print journalists, but by 1988 it had expanded to house up to 300 print, radio and television journalists, as well as technicians and other staff.