Photo Caption: Federal Member for Parkes and Minister for Regional Communications Mark Coulton with Barrier Truth Editor Michael Murphy. The Barrier Truth has been awarded a $34,152 grant under the Public Interest News Gathering (PING) program to improve its digital services.
The Barrier Truth has been awarded a $34,152 grant from the Federal Coalition Government to improve its digital services for customers and staff, with Editor Michael Murphy thanking Parkes MP Mark Coulton for his direct role in the newspaper’s success.
Mr Coulton, also Federal Minister for Regional Communications, said he was thrilled that the newspaper would receive essential funds from the Government’s Public Interest News Gathering (PING) program so it could continue to provide local news to Broken Hill.
“This grant will keep local journalists in jobs and ensure quality reporting continues to be available in the Far West – congratulations to the Barrier Truth team on your success,” Mr Coulton said.
“It’s been a challenging time for news outlets right around my electorate, due to the drought and now COVID-19, so I know these funds are a real lifeline.
“It is so important our rural and regional communities remain informed and connected. The Barrier Truth is a vital source of news for people in the district, which is why I’m so proud that the Coalition Government is providing this critical support.”
The grant will fund improvements including:
• Building a new website to house all digital content and services
• Making it easier for customers to do business with the newspaper
• Enabling journalists to post stories and multimedia directly to the website
• Improving efficiencies for administration staff
• Providing more options for local business to promote goods and services
Mr Murphy said the grant was excellent news for the entire team.
“The Barrier Truth is grateful for the Federal Government’s support during a tough economic time for the entire country,” Mr Murphy said.
“JobKeeper represented a huge lifeline for our newspaper – without it, we wouldn’t have survived.
“Now, this grant will help us improve our digital services and make us more efficient.
“Parkes MP Mark Coulton went out of his way to personally help us get an application in for consideration, and we can’t thank him enough.”
Funds are flowing to 107 regional news outlets across the country as part of the $50 million PING program, providing much needed support to regional television, newspaper and radio outlets during COVID-19.
For details of successful recipients, visit www.grants.gov.au