Pat Conaghan MP

Local newspapers supported through $10.4M for Rural Press Pty Limited

Joint media release

Local news outlets owned by Rural Press Pty Limited (Australian Community Media) have received some much-needed support through the Morrison-McCormack Government’s $50 million Public Interest News Gathering (PING) program.

Rural Press has received $10.4 million to support 91 regional media outlets including Port Macquarie News, Macleay Argus, Mid Coast Observer, Bellingen Courier Sun and Camden Haven Courier.

Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of The Nationals Michael McCormack said this was the largest grant awarded under the program’s publishing stream, with more than 100 grant agreements now executed.

“This money will support news gathering in regional communities, ensuring local content will continue to be written by local journalists,” he said.

“Local news matters because local stories matter and as a former regional newspaper editor, I know the importance of Australian Community Media’s network of outlets – that’s why we are backing 91 of them with a more than $10 million investment.

“Today’s announcement demonstrates what the Liberals and Nationals in Government can achieve for our regions.”

Federal Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan said this funding for media outlets in Cowper could support a broad range of activities including staff wages, training and technology upgrades, enabling this organisation to keep delivering important news services to their communities.

“This brings stability for local journalists, ensuring they can continue their important work as we recover from COVID-19 with the certainty that their organisation has been supported by our Government,” he said.

“The network of ACM papers delivers important public interest journalism, keeping our regional and remote communities informed and connected.

“Other media outlets with reach in our area that have been supported through the Public Interest News Gathering program include Prime Media Group Limited, which was awarded $4.7 million, and Southern Cross Austereo – $10.2 million.”

The Morrison-McCormack Government has worked hard to deliver the economic lifeline Australians need to get through the course of this virus.

Economy-wide support measures worth more than $300 billion have been put in place to lessen the impact of COVID-19 and Australian media outlets have had access to these measures such as the JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme.

Media Contacts:

Mr McCormack – Jo Williamson 0418 475 668

Dean Shachar 0418 202 860

Mr Conaghan – Liz Spry 0418 928 744