Investigating a sustainable future for public interest journalism


October Newsletter

October 17, 2023

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Deakin University research uncovers impact of losing local newspapers

“Scholars across the globe have focused intently on mapping news deserts and gaps where public interest journalism is lacking or in peril. However, little attention is paid to understanding the impacts and changing media-related practices of people who live in communities that lose a designated news service—notably a local newspaper.”

A team of researchers from Deakin University, including PhD candidate Marco Magasic, Dr Julie Freeman and Professor Kristy Hess (a member of PIJI’s Expert Research Panel) sought to address this issue. The resulting research paper, ‘Examining the Social, Civic, and Political Impact of Local Newspaper Closure in Outback Australia’, has just been released. You can read it here.

Insights from PIJI’s August Australian News Data Report

The August edition of the Australian News Data Report reveals there are 1213 print, digital, radio and television news outlets listed on the Australian News Index – as at 31 August 2023 – spanning community, local, metropolitan, state/territory or national coverage areas. This is an increase of three from the previous month.

Two outlet openings and one closure were observed over the month. 13 other changes were made to outlet records within the Index, the majority of which were changes to operating entity and the bulk of which related to Australian Community Media, and five new entity records were added to the data.

Read the full August report on our website.

PIJI marks World News Day

Towards the end of September, PIJI marked World News Day with an image gallery highlighting the state of public interest journalism in Australia, and why it’s so important to sustain.

View the gallery here.

PIJI’s submission to the Murdoch Media Inquiry Bill 2023

PIJI made a submission to the Environment and Communications Legislation Committee’s consideration of the Murdoch Media Inquiry Bill 2023.

You can read the full submission on our website.

Current opportunities

A snapshot of some of the latest funding, policy and other opportunities from across the sector:

  • The Walkley Foundation is inviting applications from regional journalists for The William Buckland Foundation Fellowship with The Age. The recipient will receive a $20,000 stipend for the 12-week duration of a placement with The Age. For more information or to apply, visit the Walkley Foundation’s website.
  • Queensland-based researcher Pip Miller is currently undertaking a PhD examining the shift and change of local news in far north Queensland, and is seeking insights from professionals in the sector. If you’re a media professional based in the area, you may be able to help by completing a short survey.

Industry news

PIJI research mentions:


  • Strong coverage of the ‘Yes’ side didn’t translate to support, according to researchers.
  • Cheng Lei arrives back in Melbourne after being released from a Chinese prison.
  • new CEO for OzTAM.
  • Deepfake news is hitting the mainstream.
  • Twitter/X redefines newsworthiness of posts on the platform.
  • milestone for The Sun-Herald.
  • Stan Grant criticises coverage of the Voice.
  • Twitter/X removes headlines from news articles.
  • WA police order ABC to hand over footage from investigation.
  • Collaboration, not competition, needed in public interest media.
  • ‘Social media traffic to top news sites craters‘.
  • Head of Facebook News leaves Meta.
  • A new not for profit news outlet, covering global health, launches.
  • Rupert Murdoch steps down.
  • Margaret Simons on Rupert Murdoch’s retirement.
  • Andrew Dodd on Rupert Murdoch’s retirement.
  • The secret to Guardian Australia’s growth despite not having a paywall.


  • The Washington Post plans to axe over 200 jobs.
  • Corruption prosecutions rise in places with a nonprofit news outlet.
  • Sources say the British PM is watering down plans to make tech giants pay for using news stories.
  • Calls for a Royal Commission into media independence in NZ.
  • Small Canadian publishers suffer under Meta news block.
  • In defense of aggressive small-town newspapers’.
  • Has UK’s regional press reached its print decline tipping point?
  • The Guardian launches its European edition.


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Related Articles:

September Newsletter

In this month’s edition, a new board member joins PIJI's board, and the latest data on public interest journalism in Australia.


August Newsletter

In this month’s edition, we reveal the latest quarterly and monthly data from the Australian News Data Report, share a special audio-led blog about the results of the Digital News Report and mark a milestone for commercial radio.


July Newsletter

In this month’s edition, we take stock of a bumper round of changes in the Australian News Index; we recap PIJI on the radio discussing how to support local news; and we showcase three feature articles that take a deep dive into local news offerings out in the regions.


June Newsletter

PIJI’s Australian News Data Report: April 2023 edition is now available and for the first time, we are including a new data set of news outlet ownership. Furthermore, PIJI is pleased to reveal our new website.


May Newsletter

March quarterly data now live on the PIJI website, we have a federal budget round-up and PIJI's submission on the roductivity Commission inquiry into philanthropy.