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21 July, 2021

New plan to revive regional journalism

NEW plan to inject life back into the dying regional journalism industry has been put forward by Katter’s Australia Party (KAP) as they bid to secure State and Federal support.

By Rhys Thomas

KAP Leader Robbie Katter has announced a new plan to help revive regional journalism.

NEW plan to inject life back into the dying regional journalism industry has been put forward by Katter’s Australia Party (KAP) as they bid to secure State and Federal support. 

The Regional Journalism Rescue Plan embodies KAP’s support for journalism job security in regional Australia after recent years have seen Queensland’s rural and regional communities failed by trading regional papers for metro ratings. 

KAP Leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter believes that regional papers are a lifeblood for the communities they serve, keeping the residents informed and up to date. 

He said rural and regional residents, unable to access local and reliable news content, would be the greatest victims of the trend. 

“When it comes to news, local content is key, we need trusted local media voices to inform our communities of local events and issues,” Mr Katter said. 

“Local journalism is on its knees, and this is in no one’s best interest. 

“If the Government and media organisations work cohesively, we believe new opportunities can be created for journalism in regional Queensland. 

“Moreover, this plan could serve as a print for the rest of the country.” 

Mr Katter said the KAP would write to both the State and Federal Governments seeking their assistance in providing a strong and sustainable future for regional journalism. 

Greg Watson from the Queensland Country Press Association said there were some real glimmers of hope in Queensland’s print sector. 

“There is a resurgence going on in Queensland country newspapers with over thirty news and/or independent publication start-ups since News Corp have stopped printing in regional communities,” he said.

“These regional independent outlets have been strongly welcomed by the communities.

“I think when the papers closed there was an outpouring from communities who have lost their local newspaper.” 

The four points of KAP’s Regional Journalism Rescue Plan are: 

  • Legislating regional quotas with regards to broadcast news (e.g. a minimum percentage of regionally-based reporters must comprise an entire network’s staff ), similar to content quotas legislated for the networks by the Federal Government 1. 
  • Immediate reinstatement of legislation requiring the State Government to advertise its official notices in print publications in regional communities where they exist. 
  • In the short-term, subsidies for remote newspaper delivery costs to ensure papers are still delivered to all communities in Queensland. 
  • The creation of other incentives for regional community media organisations to continue trading and employing local talent in journalism

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