$50m regional news boost

Grant Blackley

Five television broadcasters will receive a share of $20 million in funding to support regional news services in 2020-21.

107 regional publishers and broadcasters will benefit from a Public Interest News Gathering Program of $50m total funding.

Minister for Communications Paul Fletcher said, “These are unprecedented circumstances in regional media – with COVID-19 triggering catastrophic drops in advertising revenue leading to many newspapers suspending operations and threatening the sustainability of regional broadcasters.

“The Morrison Government is responding to these exceptional circumstances with this specific and time-limited support measure, designed to assist the continued provision of quality news and information to communities across regional and remote Australia.”

Southern Cross Austereo CEO and Managing Director, Grant Blackley, said, “Regional communities and businesses have been hit hard by COVID-19. As Australia’s largest regional media business, SCA is no exception. This funding will assist SCA‘s network of radio and television stations continue to keep 8.8m Australians and their local communities in regional and remote Australia informed about news and events that matter most to them.”

In March & April Southern Cross confirmed pay cuts and staff stand-downs.

Minister Fletcher said the majority of the publishers receiving grants under this program operate small‑to‑medium businesses.

“Successful applicants will put these funds to good use to support a broad range of activities such as staff wages, training and technology upgrades that will allow them to keep delivering news that local communities need and want,” he said.

Grants are also conditional on publishers of suspended mastheads returning them to operation and recommencing print distribution.

Funds will flow from July.

3 Comments:

  1. Will it be enough. I get the feeling since i come from a regional area, that people in metro areas dont give a toss about regional areas/news/TV.

  2. David – any chance you can get comment and clarification from SCA CEO on the 3 Nine / SCA regional bulletins QLD, SNSW/ACT and VIC that have been pulled off the air since March now? He says the funding will go to news for the 8 million people SCA serves – that indicates QLD SNSW ACT and VIC markets. These bulletins have been gone for 3.5 months now….

  3. Corporate welfare I see similar to the 30mil foxtel received
    I do understand the current situation as first a health issue and secondly an economic issue is
    Probably should not of cut funding to Aunty

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