The ACMA announced the successful grant recipients on Wednesday, with the grants designed to help the publishers address some of the “significant challenges facing the news industry”.
Successful recipients include:
- The Trustee for Parkes-Brown Family Trust (Glasshouse Country News—Glasshouse Mountains, Queensland) will receive up to $108,200 to develop a new website and digital content publishing platform to support its production of public interest journalism and increase efficiency in production.
- North Central Review Pty Ltd (North Central Review—Mitchell Shire, Victoria) will receive up to $119,410 to engage a digital marketing officer and to upgrade its online sales technology and video production equipment to improve its digital and social media presence.
- Word Count Media Pty Ltd (Pittwater Life magazine, Pittwater NSW) will receive up to $42,768 to engage two specialist freelance journalists to increase public interest journalism output and support its local service delivery.
Of the 41 successful grant recipients, 16 are from New South Wales, 12 from Victoria, 6 from Queensland, 2 from South Australia, 2 from the ACT, 2 from Tasmania - and 1 is from Western Australia.
The ACMA received more than 300 applications for the 2020 Round - almost three times the previous round - and in total the Authority has awarded more than $17.6 million under the Innovation Fund since 2018.
The government also recently announced that 107 regional publishers and broadcasters will receive a share of $50 million in funding under its Public Interest News Gathering (PING) program.
The ACMA says that while applicants could apply for both funds, it cannot fund the same activities that have been funded under the PING, and will now work with all successful 2020 Round recipients to negotiate the funding for eligible activities and finalise grant agreements.
The Innovation Fund and the PING are part of the government’s $60.4 million Regional and Small Publishers Jobs and Innovation Package.
The ACMA says it has carefully assessed each application against eligibility and merit criteria and was assisted by an independent advisory committee appointed by the Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, Paul Fletcher.