Supporting journalism in regional Australia

The Federal Government is continuing to support journalism in regional Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the $5 million Regional and Small Publishers Innovation Fund 2020 Round now open for applications.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the round was fast-tracked to assist regional news publishers with the significant challenges being faced during this crisis.

“Local newspapers are an integral part of regional communities and one of my key focuses during this pandemic has been ensuring we can keep communities informed by keeping local journalists in jobs,” Mr McCormack said.

“I was a journalist for 21 years, the last 11 of which were as editor of The Daily Advertiser, so I know how important newspapers are to keeping local people informed.

“We will always support high quality news in regional Australia – local content, turned into local news, written by local journalists to make sure local people know what’s happening in their town.

“A total of $5 million is available with a maximum of $400,000 per applicant.”

The criteria have been broadened so more organisations are eligible to apply for grants, ensuring this money is received where it is needed as quickly as possible.

Funds will be available to eligible applicants to support the costs associated with public interest news gathering, which can include staff training, new digital technology and website upgrades.

The ACMA will assess each application for the 2020 Round in accordance with the Regional and Small Publishers Innovation Fund: 2020 Grant Opportunity Guidelines, working closely with an Independent Advisory Committee.

Applications are now open for a four-week period closing on 22 May 2020, with successful applicants expected to be announced in July 2020. For more information and details on how to apply visit www.acma.gov.au/innovationfund.

The Government is presently finalising the guidelines for the $50 million Public Interest News Gathering (PING) program. An announcement will be made when the guidelines are finalised and applications can be submitted.

Media Contact:

Mr McCormack – Dean Shachar 0418 202 860