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Threatened regional newspapers offer $ 10 million bailout in the face of rapidly rising print costs | District News


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The federal government has offered $ 10 million in savings to regional newspapers at risk of rising printing costs. The future of a number of rural publications was called into question last week after the cost of printing the discoveries rose by 80 per cent since July 1. But on Sunday, the coalition announced a $ 10 million package to reduce damage in the short term. while promising further work on the sustainability of the sector after the election. Communications Minister Paul Fletcher said the funds, which are part of a public interest news gathering program, came after consultation with major regional publishers about the pressures they faced and the support they needed. Mr Fletcher acknowledged that constant volatility abroad, including COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine, had an impact on himself at home. “Regional newspapers play a vital role in bringing regional communities closer together and informing them about local news and events,” he said. “We will immediately embark on this new round after the election, working closely with the sector, with payments expected to be made from July 1, when newspaper prices are due to rise.” The coalition said it would soon begin finalizing guidelines to allow regional publishers eligible for funding. They will need to ensure that newspapers are not closed or jobs are lost as a result of rising printing costs. ACM, the owner of this homepage, last week warned that rising prices could lead to the fall of many of its newspapers as early as next month. ACM Executive Chairman Anthony Catalan praised the development after the company’s editorial campaign warned that price increases would have a “catastrophic” impact on regional media without government support. “This announcement is a long-awaited recognition of the serious threat faced by the regional print media due to this huge increase in the cost of newsprint,” he said on Sunday. “We are grateful for the prompt response to our calls for support and for the recognition of the important role that newspapers play in regional communities across the country.” Regional Communications Minister Bridget Mackenzie said the package is part of a broader effort to boost rural employment, saying newspaper publishers have hired thousands of regional Australians. “Newspapers that are published locally are very important to our regional communities because they tell local stories that will never be published by major publishers,” she said. Up to $ 2 million will also be allocated for a quick analysis of a coal boiler replacement at the Boyer Mill Norske Skog plant in Tasmania, Australia’s latest newsprint producer. READ MORE: Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce lobbied Mr Morrison this week to respond to articles on the front page of the ACM network on Wednesday, while Health Minister Greg Hunt also expressed his concern. Labor leader Anthony Albanez warned that the loss of regional newspapers would be “massive”, saying he was ready to find a solution. Labor MP Christy McBain on Wednesday accused the coalition of being “too little, too late” to respond to pressure on the regional media sector. Regional newspapers learned in February that they would receive $ 10 million from the federal government, which would allow them to increase the number of cadets and improve the skills of existing journalists.



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