Resourcing public interest journalism

Australian public interest journalism (PIJ) lost around 800 full-time equivalent (FTE) staff in print/digital news between 2014 and 2018, with a decline from around 4,100 to 3,300.

In broadcast, industry contracted by 200 FTE to around 3,800 FTE.
Source: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Digital Platforms Inquiry

2,000 fewer people identified as journalists in the 2016 census than in 2011, a drop of about 9 per cent to 14,201.
Source: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) Digital Platforms Inquiry

Availability of public interest journalism

53 per cent of media managers in local councils say the amount of news about local government declined between 2014-2019

32 per cent of media managers in local councils say no journalists attend to report regular meetings of council

106 local and regional newspaper closures 2008-2018, representing 15 per cent reduction

21 local government areas are not covered by local newspapers, including 16 in regional Australia.

In 2018 there were:
26 per cent fewer articles on local government than the peak in 2005

40 per cent fewer articles on courts than the peak in 2005

30 per cent fewer articles on health issues than the peak in 2004

42 per cent fewer articles on science issues than the peak in 2006
(Source: ACCC Digital Platforms Inquiry)

Public support

In April we released the findings of PIJI’s community value survey.

It showed that:

  • 81 per cent of survey respondents say that PIJ is important
  • 86 per cent during natural disasters, 85 per cent during public health crises
  • 53 per cent would endorse a $6/year tax increase to support PIJ, 40 per cent $12

(Source: PIJI’s Community Value of Public Interest Journalism Survey, April 2020)

Paying for PIJ

Australians have an average willingness to pay for increased PIJ of between $1.51 and $2.94 per month.

This translates to between $380m and $740m per year in total support for the sector.

(Source: PIJI’s Community Value of Public Interest Journalism Survey, April 2020)

Start typing and press Enter to search