The problem we are addressing

Australians are losing centuries-old community connections with the rapid decline of

local media. It’s a story made worse by the pandemic, which has accelerated the closure or winding back of hundreds of newspapers across the country.

 

Between 2008 and 2018, more than 100 local newspapers disappeared altogether,

according to the ACCC. The Public Journalism Institute reports that 255 media outlets “contracted” between 2019 and 2022. It also showed 164 “expansions” leaving a net loss of a further 91 newsrooms.

 

In 2020 alone, major publishers and family businesses stopped printing more than 200

mastheads, with only a handful maintaining a scaled-down online presence.

And in the past two years, more than 600 regional journalists have been stood down or made redundant, according to the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance.

 

Coverage of regional affairs has fallen by at least 25% in the past 18 months, a media monitoring analysis revealed.

 

Traditional media newsrooms remain under-resourced and find it difficult - if not impossible - to provide even basic coverage of public institutions affairs such as local council meetings.

 

We are seeing a trend in media, generally, where the lines are blurred between fact, commentary and opinion and believe this erodes the public’s trust in news media. 

 

Australian communities - which once used news media as their guardians and advocates - have effectively lost their voice.