Photo Caption: Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton has announced the Condobolin Argus has received a $60,980 grant in the 2020 round of the Regional and Small Publishers Innovation Fund, which will be used to employ a new fulltime staff member.
The Condobolin Argus has welcomed the news it will be able to employ a new fulltime staff member, after successfully receiving a $60,980 grant in the 2020 round of the Regional and Small Publishers Innovation Fund.
Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton said the news was a great win for the community-owned newspaper.
“I’m thrilled that the Federal Coalition Government is providing this critical support to help keep journalists in jobs and ensure quality reporting continues to be available in the Condobolin district,” Mr Coulton said.
“It’s been a challenging time for news outlets right around my electorate, with the drought and now COVID-19 putting a strain on the local economy, so I know these funds will be a real lifeline for the Condobolin Argus team.
“It is so important our country communities remain informed and connected.
“But it’s equally important that we do what we can to support local jobs, and that’s exactly what this grant will do.
“Congratulations to Managing Director Anne Coffey and the rest of the team on your success – what a great achievement for Condobolin.”
Ms Coffey said the Argus was pleased to be a recipient of funding under the Regional and Small Publishers Innovation Fund.
“The grant has been a godsend after two years of extreme drought and now the effects of COVID-19 which has seen local advertising and events dry up,” Ms Coffey said.
“As a small, community-owned newspaper we rely on local support and advertising to keep our paper running so we can provide locals with information, showcase their achievements, chronicle the history of the area and keep people informed.
“With these funds, we will employ a fulltime Regional News and Digital Media Officer.
“We will also be able to invest in new computers and printing equipment, and add extra colour pages to our newspaper, along with extra pages for regional news.
“Those of us who work at The Argus are locals who are dedicated to serving our community, and we are immensely grateful for this support.”
The full list of recipients is available on the ACMA’s website at: www.acma.gov.au/regional-and-small-publishers-innovation-fund
In addition to the $5 million Innovation Fund grants, the Government is providing $50 million to 107 regional broadcasters and publishers through the Public Interest News Gathering (PING) program.
• The Innovation Fund began in 2018 and is part of a Government package to boost sustainability and ongoing production of news in the modern media environment.
• The grants will help successful recipients continue to generate public interest journalism through investment digital initiatives, technical upgrades and staff training, as well as supporting salaries.
• The Innovation Fund is administered by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).
• Over 300 applications were assessed by the ACMA, working closely with an independent advisory committee, through a competitive grants process. The ACMA will work with successful applicants to develop and enter into grant agreements as soon as practicable.