Investigating a sustainable future for public interest journalism


April Newsletter

April 12, 2023

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PIJI submission to ACMA framework consultation

PIJI has submitted its recommendations to the  Australian Communications and Media Authority’s consultation on its News diversity and localism measurement framework

In a wide-ranging and thorough submission drawing on PIJI’s extensive news mapping activity over the past four years, PIJI suggests a number of ways in which ACMA can better define data and organisational classifications.

PIJI’s comments in the submission include:

  • A need for guiding principles, such as ‘standardisation’ or consistency (ideally to enable global benchmarking), and strong governance practices, including a scheduled review every two years.
  • A staged build and review roll out may be the best approach to ensure the framework is fit for purpose and provides flexibility for some areas of data capture and analysis.
  • Consideration is needed on the appropriate long-term structures of data collection, analysis and ownership.
  • Further consultation with industry should be undertaken.
  • PIJI remains committed to adding to the long-term, evidence-based assessment into the health of public interest journalism, recognising ongoing and increasing demand for its independent work; we are  currently developing potential future iterations of PIJI.

The submission includes 34 technical recommendations in total. PIJI looks looks forward to reading the feedback from other industry participants.

PIJI news sector research

PIJI’s Australian News Data Report February 2023 issue is now available. It shows:

  • Eleven changes to the database, including four closures, three new mastheads and four other changes.
  • Changes occurred across Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales.
  • A net total of 1,180 print, digital, radio and television news outlets of community, local, metropolitan, state/territory or national primary coverage as at of 28 February 2023, unchanged from January.
  • Sampling research returns this month, assessing news quality and output of a specific geographic region, in this case Sunshine Coast Region in Queensland and, for the first time, a group of local government areas as a single region, the Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.

Deakin research shows importance of rural media

A three-year research project by Deakin University with Country Press Australia “reinforces the important and various roles that audiences expect a local news provider to play within the communities they serve”.

The project’s final report, Media innovation and the civic future of Australia’s country press, makes 22 recommendations based on national surveys, focus groups of news producers and staff, plus interviews with start-ups and long-serving news proprietors.

It found audiences are passionate about local news and want more original content. They are more likely to get this from their local newspaper website than the local council website. It says government funding for local news should employ more local journalists not fund innovation. It also found government policies and advertising spending is the single most influential factor in long-term sustainability of small, independently-owned news outlets in rural, regional and suburban Australia.

Industry News & Events

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