Four small publishers in the Parkes electorate will share in more than $440,000 from the Federal Coalition Government to support their sustainability.
Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton said the grants would provide a welcome boost to local journalism.
“I’m thrilled that the Gilgandra Weekly, Condobolin Argus, Coonabarabran Times and Coonamble Times will be able to invest in new technology and grow their operations,” Mr Coulton said.
“In particular, the Gilgandra Weekly has received a significant grant of $232,920 towards their project, which will upgrade printing equipment and develop their digital presence.”
The publications are among 62 small and regional publishers across Australia to share in around $9 million of funding under the Coalition Government’s Regional Grant Opportunity program.
“It’s important that people in my electorate stay informed, and often their local newspaper is their main source of news,” Mr Coulton said.
“These four publications have demonstrated a solid business case to increase publishing activities for our region and I congratulate each of them on their success.”
Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, Paul Fletcher, said in the digital age the sector is facing profound and continuing change and the funding will help regional publishers invest for the future.
“The Morrison Government recognises the challenges facing regional publishers and local newspapers as they reshape their business models to deal with the digital landscape and put themselves on more sustainable footings for the future,” Minister Fletcher said.
“These grants provide our publishers with the opportunity to invest in new technologies to support news gathering skills development and digital initiatives.”
The Regional Grant Opportunity program is overseen by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), which received 113 applications for the grants.
The full list of recipients is available on ACMA’s website at: www.acma.gov.au/innovationfund
• Each application was assessed according to three merit criteria: public interest journalism; editorial policy and complaints handling process; and the quality of the business case. Of the 62 grant recipients, 25 will be funded in full and 37 will be part funded.
• 24 recipients are located in Victoria, 18 in New South Wales, 12 in Queensland, three in Tasmania, two in South Australia, and one each in Western Australia, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory.
• The Regional Grant Opportunity is part of the $60.4 million Regional and Small Publishers Jobs and Innovation Package delivered as part of the Government’s 2017 media sector reforms.
|Gilgandra Weekly||$232,920||To upgrade printing equipment, and develop the current digital presence and technology capabilities.|
|Condobolin Argus||$84,072||To build digital and print circulation, update critical equipment and increase staff capabilities to improve digital presence (webpage and social media).|
|Coonabarabran Times||$72,664||To upgrade the website.|
|Coonamble Times||$52,000||To transition from its current print and limited online presence to a fully integrated multimedia content publisher.|