COVID-19: Impact on Australian Print (Newspapers, Magazines) Industry

Australian Community Media to cease printing non-daily papers, stop the presses at a number of print sites

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but it hasnt been announced which non daily paper will cease

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I couldn’t work it out either? Perhaps smaller regional newspapers maybe such as the Blayney Chronicle, Oberon Review etc which I believe are only printed a couple of days a week? I didn’t know the group owned that many papers?

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This bit is perhaps the biggest worry:

In recent days, ACM has given notice to the landlords of more than 30 small offices around the country that it intends to exit lease arrangements to reduce rental costs across the business.

I wonder how many of the publications just won’t return.

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i think the ararat advertiser might go. it hasnt been any good since acm took over anyways . its gone from a local paper to a regional paper

ACM have clarified it doesnt include their agricultural titles

From ACM

ACM’s 14 daily newspapers are The Canberra Times, Newcastle Herald, Illawarra Mercury, Northern Daily Leader, Central Western Daily, Western Advocate, Dubbo Daily Liberal, Wagga Daily Advertiser, The Border Mail, Bendigo Advertiser, The Courier, The Standard, The Examiner and The Advocate.

ACM’s state-based agricultural weeklies are The Land , Victoria’s Stock & Land, Queensland Country Life and the North Queensland Register , Western Australia’s Farm Weekly and South Australia’s Stock Journal.

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In regards to office leasing, I do believe that the Oberon Review closed their offices in the last few years with reporters/admin now working remotely. I’d expect this sort of set up in the coming months/years as a result of similar decisions.


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News Corp announced recently it was suspending printing of its suburban newspapers in NSW, VIC, SA and QLD. But I didn’t imagine it was suspending publication of digital PDF editions of the papers either. I checked the Herald Sun website just then and noticed the link to digital editions had been temporarily removed. If you don’t use Google search you won’t be able to find the link and catch up on past editions.

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Executive chairman of news publisher ACM Antony Catalano has applauded a Victorian government support package for regional newspapers and urged other states and territories to follow suit.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said his government would spend $4.7 million on weekly advertising in more than 100 regional media outlets over the next six months to bolster local newspapers and keep regional Victorians informed about coronavirus.

The Andrews government’s newspaper advertising package was developed in consultation with the Victorian Country Press Association.

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$5m Innovation Fund round to support publishers now open

To support public interest journalism during the COVID-19 pandemic the release of the 2020 Round of the Regional and Small Publishers Innovation Fund has been brought forward. Applications open today to regional and metropolitan applicants.

Administered by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), a total of $5 million is available for the 2020 Round, with a maximum of $400,000 for any applicant.

ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin said the funding will assist publishers of public interest journalism, particularly in regional areas.

“The Innovation Fund has a strong record of helping publishers improve their sustainability and develop a range of innovative projects,” Ms O’Loughlin said.

“We hope to see a diversity of publishers from all over Australia apply for this grant. It is designed to assist publishers adapt to the challenges in the evolving media landscape.”

Previously funded projects include the development of audio news and podcasts, staff training on the use of new digital technology and the transition to new or updated websites and market research.

The ACMA will assess each application against the eligibility criteria. Eligible applications will be assessed against the assessment criteria, working closely with an Independent Advisory Committee appointed by the Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts.

Publishers and content service providers interested in applying should go to the government’s GrantConnect website (search GO ID: GO3940) where the grant opportunity is listed. This includes all the necessary information to apply online.

Applicants can find further details at Applications for this round of funding close on 22 May 2020. The ACMA expects to announce successful applicants in July 2020.

The Innovation Fund is part of the three year Regional and Small Publishers Jobs and Innovation package which began in 2018. This 2020 Round is separate to the Public Interest News Gathering (PING) Fund recently announced by the Australian Government in response to recommendations of the ACCC’s Digital Platforms Inquiry.

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Will it then be overridden by a rorting minister? :thinking:
(Or is that only in the year before an election?)

Another paper to add to the list of those to close thanks to COVID-19 - I’ve heard this morning that the Barraba Gazette has closed and won’t reopen - by all accounts advertising was pretty bad pre-Coronavirus

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ACM stops printing most of its papers so the local councils can’t advertise in the papers as they are legally required to do, so the NSW government changes the law so they don’t have to advertise as they currently can’t, yet Catalano gets upset that the councils now don’t have to advertise in his non-existent newspapers.

From the article:

However, a Google search for whatever council development applications will generally find the appropriate page for you. You don’t have to go through the menus on the council websites.

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This change has been coming for a while

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