The Greens are calling on Communications Minister Paul Fletcher to urgently respond to requests for assistance for regional media as more and more newspapers close across the country.
Greens Spokesperson for Media and Communications Senator Sarah Hanson-Young wrote to Minister Fletcher last week.
“Every day that passes without action from the Minister is another day it gets harder to save these essential local media outlets and the jobs of local journalists,” Senator Hanson-Young said.
“I understand Minister Fletcher has been in talks with a number of organisations about the situation they are facing, but he is yet to make any public representations about government assistance.
“Regional Australians deserve to know if their local newspaper and radio station which is the lifeblood of many communities, is going to survive through this crisis.
“The $40m Regional and Small Publishers Jobs and Innovation Package should immediately be used to support struggling regional media outlets. The Minister doesn’t need to find more money, this package can be transitioned to keep jobs and the presses going.
“For many regional and rural Australians, their local newspaper is their main source of news and information, some communities have already lost that with the closure of papers like the Barrier Daily Truth in Broken Hill and Sunraysia Daily in Mildura. If papers continue to close their doors it will be because the Minster has failed to act quickly enough to help save them.”
Copy of the letter to the Minister is here.