News National Regional media outlets to share $50 million

Regional media outlets to share $50 million

Regional paper are set to get a major funding boost. Photo: AAP
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A total of 107 regional publishers and broadcasters will share $50 million under the Morrison government’s Public Interest News Gathering (PING) program.

Communications Minister Paul Fletcher said the funding will support newspaper businesses and commercial broadcasters across regional and remote Australia.

Through the PING program, television will receive $20 million, publishing $18 million and radio $20 million from July.

Mr Fletcher said regional media is facing unprecedented circumstances with COVID-19 triggering catastrophic drops in advertising revenue leading to many newspapers suspending operations and threatening the sustainability of regional broadcasters.

“Public interest journalism is critical to keeping communities informed,” Mr Fletcher said in a statement on Monday.

“PING will provide direct support for the continued provision of local and regional journalism, which has never been more important than in recent times when communities across Australia need access to trusted sources of news and information.”

Of the 107 eligible applicants, there are 92 publishers, 13 for radio and five for television. Three applicants were successful across two streams.

“The majority of the publishers receiving grants under this program operate small-to-medium businesses,” the minister said.

“Local papers are the life-blood of many towns across Australia. They connect communities and keep people informed.”