New measures to support regional media organisations welcomed
Friday, 15 September 2017
Nationals Senator for Victoria, Bridget McKenzie today welcomed the government’s
media reform package as a big boost for regional media coverage, jobs in
country areas and localism in media.
The funding grants could allocate grants to programs and initiatives such as the
purchasing or upgrading of equipment and software, training, development of
apps and business activities to drive revenue and readership, all of which
would help small publishers to expand their businesses and create more jobs.
Funding grants will be capped at a maximum of $1 million per year for any media group.
At least two thirds of funding must go to regional publishers and not less than
25 per cent for non-regional publishers.
“The reforms include aspects from my Private Senators Bill that include the
requirement that two ABC Board members have an extensive background in rural
and regional areas, an ABC Rural and Regional Advisory Board be established and
be consulted if any changes are made to ABC rural and regional services and
service provision to regional and rural Australians be included in the ABC
“These changes are what regional areas have been demanding; it is something that I and
the National Party have been pushing for for some time and now it’s here.
“I am extremely excited about media reform, especially for regional areas that can look for more local coverage and better services and recognise the challenges faced by the regional media industry.
“Regional media organisations are facing new challenges in the digital age and assisting
small publishers and regional newspapers to innovate in the digital media
environment will go a long way to maintaining these organisations and create
more local jobs,” Senator McKenzie said.
“The cadetship program is another great initiative which will boost employment
opportunities through funding for more cadets in the regions. This program
together with funding for 60 regional journalism scholarships will give
regional Australians the opportunity to access journalism training that they
haven’t had before.”
“The reforms are vital for the future viability of Australian media organisations
and local jobs. It will unshackle the industry by freeing it from laws and
regulations, which date back to the 1980s before the internet existed,” Senator