The Australian Newsroom Mapping Project

News producers across Australia

As of April 2022,  data showed that 31 Local Government Areas in Australia had no print or digital local news outlets (represented by grey areas on the map below). Across the country, rural and regional areas are the worst affected by declines in local news.

Local news outlets cover councils, courts, schools, emergency events, and many more things of importance communities.

A lack of local news undermines community resilience and the accountability of public institutions.

PIJI’s Local News Producers data can be viewed nationally or state by state. They give a birds-eye view of where and how, local news availability is changing over time.

A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE FOR PUBLIC INTEREST JOURNALISM

PIJI’s 2022 Federal Election Platform

About this data

This Local News Producers data is a component of the Australian Newsroom Mapping Project; a multi-stage project designed to give a birds-eye view of the health of public interest journalism in Australia.

This data is a resource for members of the public, legislators, and industry dedicated to sustaining public interest journalism in Australia.

The data is actively maintained: to add or correct information please get in touch.

Data Usage

This data is made publicly available on a Creative Commons license to ensure that it can inform research and policy to support the news media.

Suggested citation: Dickson G. and Arturi S. 2022. Australian Newsroom Mapping Project: Local news producers. Melbourne: Public Interest Journalism Initiative. <https://localnews.piji.com.au>

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

NATIONAL INSIGHTS: Types of changes

This graph shows the types of changes (expansions/contractions) experienced by news producers across Australia from 1 January 2019 to March 2022.

Chart of Local News Producers Change types by state or territory March 2022.

NATIONAL INSIGHTS: Number of news outlets

This table shows the total number of news outlets in each state and territory at the end of March 2022.

CHANGE CATEGORY ACT NSW NT QLD SA TAS VIC WA TOTAL
Expansions 1 56 2 42 14 4 39 6 164
Contractions 1 93 2 80 16 - 51 12 255
NET CHANGE (from Jan. 2019) - (37) - (38) (2) +4 (12) (6) (91)

NATIONAL INSIGHTS: LGAs with no local news outlets

An ongoing area of interest in PIJI’s data is which local government areas do not appear to have any local print or digital news producers. Currently, these include:

  • Belyuen Shire, NT
  • Coomalie Shire, NT
  • East Arnhem Region, NT
  • Roper Gulf Region, NT
  • Tiwi Islands, NT
  • West Arnhem Region, NT
  • West Daly Region, NT
  • Barcaldine Regional Council, QLD
  • Barcoo Shire, QLD
  • Carpentaria Shire, QLD
  • Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire, QLD
  • Croydon Shire, QLD
  • Diamantina Shire, QLD
  • Etheridge Shire, QLD
  • Flinders Shire, QLD
  • McKinlay Shire, QLD
  • Mornington Shire, QLD
  • Quilpie Shire, QLD
  • Richmond Shire, QLD
  • Winton Shire, QLD
  • Woorabinda Aboriginal Shire, QLD
  • Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire, QLD
  • Berri Barmera Council, SA
  • Franklin Harbour, District Council of, SA
  • Goyder, Regional Council of, SA
  • Kimba, District Council of, SA
  • Peterborough, District Council of, SA
  • Roxby Downs, Municipal Council of, SA
  • Central Highlands Council, Tas
  • Flinders Council, Tas
  • Upper Gascoyne, Shire of, WA

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The onset of COVID-19 and other upheavals in the Australian news media landscape have unveiled the rapidly diminishing production of public interest journalism in Australia, particularly in coverage of our councils, parliaments, and courts. PIJI's research show's regional and rural communities have been most adversely affected, with emerging local news gaps in print and online at the forefront of concern.

PIJI's comprehensive research has become a leading point of reference for examining the state of public interest journalism production and availability in Australia. This means we now have a unique opportunity for systemic industry reform, using our Australia-first data to guide short and long-term policy ideas into action.

Public interest journalism in Australia plays a critical role in our democracy. PIJI's research is uncovering indicators of a lack of media plurality and diversity across Australia. This research has the power to help communities and decision makers create effective media policies and interventions that improve the quality and provision of public interest journalism in Australia.

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