The Government has announced more funding for regional newspapers in Grey to help sustain them as they do their vital work of keeping the community informed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey said he is very pleased to announce $10.4 million funding through the Public Interest News Gathering (PING) program for Australian Community Media’s network of outlets, four of which are in Grey.
“This funding will provide much-needed support to ACM regional newspapers many of which have suffered financially during COVID-19,” he said.
“The Port Lincoln Times, Port Pirie Recorder, Whyalla News and Transcontinental are among 91 ACM outlets the Government is backing with a more than $10 million investment,” he said.
“Local news matters because local stories matter and I know the importance of Australian Community Media’s network of outlets – that’s why we are backing 91 of them with a more than $10 million investment.
“I met with ACM CEO Antony Catalano in June this year in Canberra to discuss the challenges facing regional newspapers and was impressed by his determination to maintain as many mastheads in regional areas as possible.
“This funding follows $63k allocated to the Plains Producer in August this year and in October 2019 Yorke Peninsula Country Times received almost $162k through the Federal Government’s Regional Grant Opportunity program to support the sustainability of the local publishing activities, including news gathering, production and distribution.
“These programs will help keep local jobs and make sure quality public interest journalism continues to be available in our region.
“Public interest journalism keeps our communities informed and connected, and it is especially important for people living in regional and remote areas.
“This funding will support a broad range of activities such as staff wages, training and technology upgrades to allow the successful recipients to keep delivering important news services to their communities.”
The PING program is just one of the relief measures the Government is providing to support the media industry during COVID-19. Other measures include $50 million for a Temporary Interruption Fund to support local film and television producers to recommence filming, $41 million spectrum tax relief for 12-months for commercial television and radio broadcasters, $5 million for the Regional and Small Publishers Innovation Fund and temporary emergency suspension of content quotas for 2020.
Media Contact: Leonie Lloyd-Smith 86331744
November 5, 2020