Photo Caption: Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton has announced the Western Herald will receive a $10,000 boost, after being successful in the Public Interest News Gathering (PING) program.
The Western Herald is set to receive a $10,000 boost, after being successful in the Federal Coalition Government’s Public Interest News Gathering (PING) program.
“The Western Herald is an iconic newspaper in my electorate delivering high quality local news to a very loyal readership,” Mr Coulton said.
“This grant will go towards staffing and other costs to ensure public interest journalism continues to be available to the people of Bourke and surrounds.
“It is so important our country communities remain informed and connected through news outlets such as the Western Herald.”
Mr Coulton said it has been a challenging time for news outlets right around the Parkes electorate.
“It hasn’t been easy for rural and regional news outlets, with the drought and now COVID-19 putting a strain on local economies, so I know this grant for the Western Herald will go a long way.”
Western Herald/2WEB Radio Sales Manager, David Sharp, said the funding has come at a critical time.
“We very much appreciate the Federal Government PING grant, as it will help the Western Herald to cover staff and other costs during these difficult times,” Mr Sharp said.
“Our Federal Member is aware that many local newspapers have struggled to stay afloat and many have had to close due to the COVID-19-related economic downturn.
“Every little bit helps, and it’s nice to know the Federal Government supports regional journalism through backing local newspapers like the Western Herald.”
The newspaper is one of 107 regional news outlets across the country receiving a grant as part of the $50 million program, providing much needed support to regional television, newspaper and radio outlets during COVID-19.
Details of successful recipients will be available on www.grants.gov.au
• The PING program is just one of the relief measures the Government is providing to support the media industry during COVID-19.
• Funding under the program will see $20 million for television, $12 million for radio and $18 million for publishing across regional Australia, with most publishers receiving grants operating as small to medium businesses.
• Applications were considered through a demand-driven process, meaning that organisations who satisfied the eligibility criteria, including the production and distribution of public interest journalism in regional Australia, were eligible for funding.