Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey said he is very pleased to announce funding through the Public Interest News Gathering (PING) program for the Plains Producer newspaper based in Balaklava.
“The local newsprint industry is one that has been really smashed by COVID-19 with greatly reduced revenues and even newsworthy events to report on,” Mr Ramsey said.
“This funding provides much needed support to regional television, newspaper and radio outlets during COVID-19.
“The Plains Producer, which is a great example of the sustainability of our excellent country newspapers, will receive $63,046.50 under the $50m program.
“The Plains Producer was started in 1903 and since 1983 has been owned and run by the Manual family.
“The Manuals have done a fantastic job keeping their readers informed and the Proddy, as it is affectionately known, has extended its circulation to include all of the Mid North.
“This program 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.
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.
Media Contact: Leonie Lloyd-Smith 08 86331744 August 5, 2020