The Public Interest Journalism Initiative (PIJI) welcomes the supportive funding measures for Australia’s news media industry announced in last night’s 2022/23 federal budget.
PIJI CEO Anna Draffin says that the Labour Government’s investment package, which includes $4M to support longer term policy interventions, will assist communities and news producers affected by the sector’s ongoing volatility.
“Australia’s media sector is still experiencing closures and cost escalations for public interest journalism. The funding announced last night will help the industry to recover, to continue to innovate and transform, and to provide high-quality journalism to Australian communities.
“We are very pleased to see the Government commit to 5-year funding terms outside of the election cycle for Australia’s national broadcasters, ABC and SBS – a policy position PIJI has advocated strongly for – as well as delivering on their commitment to support local news, community broadcasting and jobs.”
The package also includes $15M for newspaper publishers to combat recent print cost escalations and an additional $4M per annum for community broadcasters.
PIJI’s September data shows that many communities, particularly in regional and remote Australia, are lacking access to local news; there are currently 27 LGAs across the country without any local digital or print outlets.
Anna Draffin said “This funding will help to ensure that communities across Australia have access to news and public interest journalism.
“In particular we are pleased by the $4 million investment in the News Media Assistance Program to help inform longer term news media policy interventions.
“PIJI looks forward to working with the federal government, the community and the industry, to ensure a sustainable future for public interest journalism.”