Australian Newsroom Mapping Project

PIJI’s Australian Newsroom Mapping Project is an ongoing program of research to document and monitor the production of public interest journalism around the country. This project comprises different points of examination, developed across multiple stages through 2021-2022, which together build a full picture of news production in Australia.

PIJI tracks changes to news production and availability, including the opening and closing of news outlets and newsrooms; changes to service levels, mergers and the digitisation of print publications.

This stage of the project collects data from 1 January 2019 and is actively maintained. Findings are published in monthly reports and data snapshots.

This stage first launched in April 2020, as the initial effects of COVID-19 started to by felt by the industry.

Local news publishers

Building the full picture: stage one

PIJI is building a database of written local news producers: those that engage in journalism to report on council, courts, schools, and community events for print and/or web.

Past research has identified the importance of local news to social and civic health, finding that it has an impact on community cohesiveness and individuals’ sense of wellbeing, rates of volunteering and attendance at religious services, participation in local electoral politics and civic institutions as well as having impacts on financial waste, corruption and borrowing costs within local governments.

Despite this importance, local news producers are also arguably the least visible and most vulnerable sector of the news market in Australia.

This project aims to identify local news producers around the country and contribute to policy design to support that sector.

Preliminary data has been released for industry and community feedback by 31 January 2021.

An updated map of local news producers will be launched in February 2022.

Research and data hub

Every month PIJI releases a report that covers new and changed data across the Australian Newsroom Mapping Project.

National news publishers

Building the full picture: stage two

In February 2022, PIJI will expand its database to include core news producers that don’t have local geographies: those that cover courts and politics at a national level.

Broadcast news producers

Building the full picture: stage three

Later in 2022, PIJI will expand its database to include core news producers in the radio and television broadcast sector.

Media ownership

Building the full picture: stage four

Future developments for this map will provide greater clarity into news media ownership across different types of company.

About

The Australian Newsroom Mapping Project is an ongoing effort by the Public Interest Journalism Initiative to build and maintain data about news production and availability across the country. The data is made publicly available on a Creative Commons license to ensure that it can inform research and policy to support the news media.

This project has been designed and maintained by Gary Dickson, Research and Projects Manager, with research assistance from Sarah Arturi.

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