More than 100 regional publishers and broadcasters will receive a share of $50 million to keep Australia’s regional news services operating in 2020-21.
Nationals Senator for Victoria Bridget McKenzie congratulates the 92 publishers, 13 radio operators and five television broadcasters who successfully applied to the Public Interest News Gathering (PING) Program.
Three applicants were successful across two streams.
“The Nationals know local journalism keeps communities informed and connected, and it is especially important for people living in regional and remote areas,” Senator McKenzie said.
“PING will provide support to regional media businesses so they can continue to deliver quality news to the community.”
“The Nationals in Government recognise the importance of strong, profitable, regional news outlets which fill the important role of community historians, recording the highs and lows of rural and regional towns and families.
“People in rural and regional areas deserve to see news, weather and sport that are relevant to them which is why the PING Program is so important in these tough economic circumstances.”
The PING Program provides $20 million for television, $18 million for publishing and $12 million for radio, with money to flow from July.
Applications were assessed through a demand-driven grant process conducted by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications. In determining funding amounts for each sector, consideration was given to the overall reach of each media sector and revenue used to produce public interest journalism.
The Department will work with successful applicants to develop and enter into grant arrangements as soon as possible. Information on grantees will be published on GrantsConnect at www.grants.gov.au following the execution of grant agreements.
Consistent with the PING guidelines, grants are conditional on publishers of suspended mastheads returning them to operation and recommencing print distribution.