The Australian Government has established the Regional and Small Publishers Innovation Fund to provide grants to eligible regional publishers, small publishers and content providers for initiatives that support the continuation, development, growth and innovation of Australian civic and public interest journalism.
Delivered through a competitive selection process, up to $16 million in grants is available per year over the next three financial years. The grants will help eligible publishers and content providers to compete in the evolving media environment.
Grants from the Regional and Small Publishers Innovation Fund can be used for innovative and transformative projects that support the provision of public interest journalism with an Australian perspective.
Grants will not be available for projects that represent “business as usual” activities, with little or no change in the way the applicant produces journalistic content, or the way that it reaches its audience.
Grants for the Regional and Small Publishers Innovation Fund will be capped at a maximum of $1 million per year for any applicant (including related bodies corporate). Grants will be provided on a per project basis in three tiers:
Small grants (up to $20,000)
Small grants are intended to support early stage projects to develop and plan new ways of producing and disseminating journalistic content. A small project, for example, might be the first step in a phased program of work that the applicant intends building and extending over time (at their own cost). Other examples of small grants might be to support small-scale IT upgrades.
Medium grants (from $20,001 to $250,000)
Medium grants are intended to support the pilot or trial of initiatives to improve the way a news media business develops and publishes public interest journalism. Such projects may test or demonstrate the commercial and audience potential of new applications or initiatives.
Large grants (from $250,001 to $1 million)
Large grants are intended to support projects that will have a significant impact on the provision and availability of public interest journalism. Large grants would be allocated for transformative projects, overhauling the way a news publisher operates in the digital media environment. These projects will improve the availability of public interest journalism for existing audiences, with genuine potential to increase that audience. Large grants will require significantly more detail against the assessment criteria when applying.
All the information needed to apply, including the application form and the grant opportunity guidelines, can be found on the GrantConnect website, www.grants.gov.au.
Top photo: Minister for Communications Mitch Fifield launching the fund yesterday with SA member of parliament Tony Pasin