The Federal Government has announced a new $50 million program to support public interest journalism in regional areas, including Gippsland.
Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester has welcomed the additional funding for local newspapers and broadcasters.
“Gippsland’s local media has been severely impacted by drops in advertising revenue because of the coronavirus pandemic, with many newspapers and broadcasters reducing staff numbers,” Mr Chester said.
“Regional news is essential and provides locals with important information and stories, particularly during emergency situations.
“We don’t want to see further cuts in the local media market because of the financial strain caused by the coronavirus.
“This funding will help our local broadcasters and newspapers continue their essential work and keep our region informed.”
As a former regional journalist, Mr Chester said he understood the importance of accessible and relevant news throughout the region.
“Gippslanders need to know what is happening throughout Gippsland and issues that could be affecting them,” he said.
“While our national media continue to provide us with national stories and the impact on coronavirus, it is extremely important that Gippslanders are kept informed at a local level.
“This funding will ensure our newspapers and broadcasters can continue to operate and provide Gippsland with an exceptional level of journalism.”
This $50 million investment is part of the Government’s Media Relief Package.
The package includes
- Public Interest News Gathering (PING) Program – $50 million to support public interest journalism throughout regional Australia
- Tax relief– a 12-month waiver of $41 million in spectrum tax for commercial television and radio broadcaster
- Short-term red tape relief– emergency suspension of content quotas in 2020
- Harmonising regulation to support Australian content – release of an Options Paper developed by Screen Australia and the Australian Communications and Media Authority, commencing a fast-tracked consultation process on how best to support Australian stories on our screens.
For further information visit: www.communications.gov.au/media_package.