The NSW Nationals Party have suspended all advertising with WIN TV following the announcement of the closure of newsrooms in Orange, Dubbo, Albury, Wagga Wagga and Queensland’s Wide Bay.
NSW Nationals had spent up big during the Federal Election but has now ceased any advertising due to the loss of up to 40 jobs in local news.
“NSW Nationals will always fight for more news in the bush, not less. We believe in the important role journalism plays not only in our democracy but in our communities, bringing people together and keeping them informed. It is often a thankless job, but one that is important, nonetheless,” said NSW Nationals State Director Ross Cadell.
“In the first six months of this year we spent close to $3 million advertising on regional television in NSW, but as of this moment I have instructed our Party to immediately cease all advertising with WIN TV until they reverse this decision. These communities deserve better.”
In August last year the Bruce Gordon (pictured) owned company announced it was abandoning its news bulletin in Tasmania, axing 9 jobs. While some journalists and camera operators would be left on the ground, but moving presentation to Wollongong, with news bulletins would be cut completely on weekends.
WIN also began taking a feed from SKY News resulting in news that is not sourced locally.
Meanwhile in a statement the Media and Entertainment Arts Alliance said the loss of up to 40 jobs was a devastating blow and highlights a crisis that demands government intervention.
MEAA Media director Katelin McInerney said, “The steady ongoing decline of journalism in regional Australia means there is a decline in the public information needed by regional communities. Fewer journalists on the ground, fewer local stories, fewer local voices causes immense harm to these communities. Homogenised news sourced from the big cities is not a replacement – it merely underlines how the community is being poorly served. It means a dangerous loss of scrutiny of regional issues including local politics. For the rest of Australia it means that there is less journalism available from the heartland of Australia that lies beyond the urban fringe.
“It’s vital that local MPs and community leaders take a stand to arrest the decline in their local news media. MEAA calls on the Morrison Government to work with media stakeholders and local communities to urgently develop an action plan to arrest the loss of public interest journalism and to encourage and promote the development and growth of local news media. Reporting of local news is essential to regional communities. It goes to the heart of the role the fourth estate must play in informing and promoting a healthy functioning democracy.”