Multicultural media outlets have called on the Coalition to match a funding commitment from Labor to help keep them viable in the face of diminishing revenue.
Shadow communications minister Michelle Rowland on Friday announced a package to assist publications in the sector.
“Regional and local newspaper publishers remain exposed to external shocks, such as newsprint price increases which threaten to wipe out local newspaper titles for good,” Rowland said.
“An Albanese Labor Government will deliver a $29 million local news and community broadcasting transition package to help regional, local and community media providers from a decade of Liberal National mismanagement to a better future under Labor.”
Part of that package is $5 million which will go to eligible local newspaper publishers, including independent suburban, First Nations and multicultural newspaper publishers.
Independent Multicultural Media Association secretary Fotis Kapetopoulos welcomed the announcement.
“Independent multicultural, local and First Nations publishers have been excluded from digital transformation grants since 2018 and further grants during the pandemic. Independent multicultural media deliver vital public interest journalism, we talk to, and for, our communities, across generations,” he said.
“The loss of revenue, due to the power of the tech giants, rising costs of publication and production have impacted our ability to reliably offer independent community based public interest journalism, and yet we have continued to inform, and keep our diverse communities safe.
“Labor has committed to consulting with IMMA to ensure the sustainability of the independent multicultural media sector, we expect, and hope, for a similar commitment from the Coalition.”
AJN CEO David Redman echoed that sentiment.
“The Australian Jewish News, on behalf of our community, are pleased by the Labor party’s announcement of $5 million in urgent funding for multicultural and local media,” he said.
“Independent media and public interest news organisations like ours are under series threat from global tech companies and increasing costs.
“With over $110 million in recent Federal Government support for regional media, we call on the Coalition to provide a comparable level of support for multicultural media and their communities.”
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