The Australian public’s media consumption has increased substantially through 2020, according to the third of PIJI’s investigations, Community Value of Public Interest Journalism.

Australians accessed news media in all formats more frequently over the past year, but public broadcasting experienced the sharpest rise, with 55 per cent of respondents in the PIJI survey tuning in at least daily, up from 44 per cent in October 2019.

Meanwhile, 65 per cent and 63 per cent of Australians used commercial television and digital social media at least once daily, respectively. This was up substantially from 55 per cent and 47 per cent in PIJI’s October 2019 survey, before the crisis.

Amid a raft of closures across the country in the wake of the global health pandemic, a significant number of Australians polled (29 per cent) said local government and community affairs deserved greater focus, while the coverage across international, national, state-based and local affairs is about right.

The community values survey took place from October 28 to November 1 and had 1,063 respondents.

“This survey shows Australians clearly know the value of public interest journalism, with results showing 42 per cent of respondents are still willing to pay at least $12 or more each year in increased tax to support this essential service,” explains PIJI Chief Executive Anna Draffin

“78 per cent of Australians hold public interest journalism as ‘important’ or ‘very important’, which is a resounding affirmation that the government is on the right track in looking at multiple ways it can support this key part of our democracy.

“In a year when we’ve faced emergencies like bushfires, health crises and so many more challenges, we end 2020 knowing that this has to be a key policy priority for all levels of government in 2021.”

PIJI tracks Australian public interest journalism closures and market contractions as part of the Australian Newsroom Mapping Project.

For any media inquiries or comment please contact:
Isabelle Oderberg: 0435 966 251 / isabelle.oderberg@piji.com.au  

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