Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates from the Australian Government

Investing in regional journalism

More than $4 million has been awarded to universities and publishers across Australia in an effort to drive quality public interest journalism.

The internet has dramatically changed the way traditional media operates over the past decade and this has put intense pressure on the industry as a whole.

The Regional and Small Publishers Jobs and Innovation Package (the Package) is designed to help smaller publishers adapt to the rapidly changing media environment and keep journalists reporting in all areas of Australia, including regional centres and country towns.

These are the first grants being awarded as part of the Regional Journalism Scholarships, and Regional and Small Publishers Cadetships programs, with another round of funding in 2019.

In this round, 16 universities have been awarded funding under the Regional Journalism Scholarships Program.

These journalism schools stretch across the nation, from the University of South Australia to Central Queensland University and Charles Sturt University in New South Wales.

The money will be used to help educate students from regional areas, so the journalism profession continues to attract Australia's best and brightest individuals, and they are encouraged to work in regional communities.

Under the Regional and Small Publishers Cadetships Program, 41 small and regional publishers, are receiving a share of $1.8 million to help them train cadets to become career journalists.

Successful publishers in the cadetships program include:

  • Wilkie Watson Publications—a family-owned printing and publishing company based in Tumut in inland NSW.
  • Bumma Bippera Media Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Corporation—an Indigenous media company in Cairns.
  • Grant Broadcasters—a family-owned company which runs more than 50 radio stations across Australia.
  • Balonne Beacon—small newspaper based in western Queensland.

Visit our Regional and Small Publishers Jobs and Innovation Package webpage for more information about the grants and for details on how to apply in future rounds.

The third program in the Package is the Regional and Small Publishers Innovation Fund, which is administered by the Australian Communications and Media Authority.