ACMA grants $5 million to support public interest journalism

Canberra Weekly

• The ACMA received more than 300 applications for the 2020 Round

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has announced the successful grant recipients of the 2020 Round of the Regional and Small Publishers Innovation Fund.

Forty-one small and regional publishers will share in the $5 million available in the 2020 Round to help them address some of the significant challenges facing the news industry.

ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin said the funding is a boost for public interest journalism, particularly in regional areas with two-thirds of the available funding being awarded to regional applicants.

“The Innovation Fund has a strong record of helping news publishers improve their sustainability. This new round of funding will support projects that will improve each grantee’s capacity to generate public interest journalism including funding for journalists, staff training, new digital technology and website upgrades,” O’Loughlin said.

Successful recipients include:

The Trustee for Parkes-Brown Family Trust (Glasshouse Country News—Glasshouse Mountains, Queensland) will receive up to $108,200 to develop a new website and digital content publishing platform to support its production of public interest journalism and increase efficiency in production.

North Central Review Pty Ltd (North Central Review—Mitchell Shire, Victoria) will receive up to $119,410 to engage a digital marketing officer and to upgrade its online sales technology and video production equipment to improve its digital and social media presence.

Word Count Media Pty Ltd (Pittwater Life magazine, Pittwater NSW) will receive up to $42,768 to engage two specialist freelance journalists to increase public interest journalism output and support its local service delivery.

Of the forty-one successful grant recipients, 16 are from New South Wales, 12 are from Victoria, 6 are from Queensland, 2 are from South Australia, 2 are from the ACT, 2 are from Tasmania and one is from Western Australia.

Other successful applicants included:

Newstate Media (Canberra Weekly, Newcastle Weekly)
Central Coast Newspapers
The Byron Shire Echo
King Media Regional (LatteLife)
Solstice Media (InDaily and InQueensland)
The Hobart Magazine

The ACMA received more than 300 applications for the 2020 Round, almost three times the previous round.

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