Community & Business

9 June, 2023

Premier backs ‘absolutely vital’ regional newspapers

“ABSOLUTELY vital” and the “lifeblood of their communities” was how Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk described regional newspapers when she opened the recent Queensland Country Press Association conference (QCPA).

Premier backs ‘absolutely vital’ regional newspapers - feature photo

She also offered to help ensure that a larger share of the State Government advertising budget be directed at communicating with regional Queenslanders through independent regional newspapers.

The Premier referred to the “resurgence” of independent newspaper publishers in Queensland as a contributing factor.

The announcement from the Premier follows the recent Victorian Government commitment to ensuring one full page of government advertising is placed in every regional newspaper every week.

The Premier’s pledge also aligns with key findings from a recently released Deakin University report on media innovation which found that “securing the future of quality and reliable news and information platforms in non-metropolitan areas is in the national interest”.

The Deakin report refers to numerous senate inquiries examining aspects of rural and regional news since 2016, as well as the Digital Platforms Inquiry, conducted by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and a parliamentary inquiry into the future of local newspapers, and concluded that, “simply put, it is now widely understood that local news matters to our democracy, but it has struggled and requires support”.

“Our research suggests government policies and advertising spending is the single most influential factor in providing baseline surety to the long-term sustainability of small, independently owned news outlets in rural, regional and suburban Australia,” the report stated.

The QCPA conference and awards night broke several records including receiving the most nominations for awards ever.

The Express Newspaper took out the Overall Journalistic Excellence award, came second in Best Free Publication, second in Best Online Publication, as well as cadet journalist Ellie Fink coming second in Young Journalist of the Year. 


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