Regional news publishers and broadcasters get $50m lifeline

One hundred and seven small-to-medium newspapers and commercial broadcasters will share $50 million in Public Interest New Gathering Program funding.

PING is a Commonwealth government initiative to provide direct support for local and regional news outlets at a time when many have scaled back operations or closed due to Covid-19.

Of the $50 million, $18 million is going to 92 publishers; five television operators are to receive $20 million; and 13 radio stations are to get $12 million.

The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications determined the applications, considering the overall reach of each media sector and revenue devoted to producing public interest journalism.

Federal Communications Minister Paul Fletcher said: “Communities across Australia need access to trusted sources of news and information.

“Public interest journalism has never been more important than in recent times.”