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Your newspaper is in danger: newspaper publishers unite to help preserve regional publications | District News

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news, local news, regional newspapers, Anthony Catalan, Barnaby Joyce, media, local news

The news you read in your favorite local newspaper is worth more than the paper on which it is printed. But the cost of the paper on which it is printed will increase rapidly, threatening the existence of your local newspaper. This week, ACM, Australia’s largest regional news publisher and owner of this mass-headline, puts the crisis facing regional newspapers on the front pages across the country under the headline “Your newspaper is in danger”. The ACM was recently informed that Australia’s only supplier of newsprint used for regional newspapers would soon raise prices by as much as 80 per cent. For 140 ACM newspapers and 190 smaller independent newspapers represented by Country Press Australia, the impact could be catastrophic – threatening regional news and working for journalists. “Regional communities in Australia will be horrified and angry at the prospect of losing local jobs and local newspapers,” ACM Executive Chairman Anthony Catalan and CPA President Andrew Manuel said in a joint letter. Together, the ACM and CPA are calling for bipartisan support for emergency financial assistance to help save the publication of regional newspapers. “Our readers are fascinated by their local newspapers, and we expect them to respond to the closure, the change in frequency or the huge increase in cover prices,” wrote Mr. Catalan and Mr. Manuel. When the ACM told a federal parliamentary inquiry in February that an impending rise in the price of newsprint would threaten the viability of its newspapers, the rise in prices was expected to be on the order of 30 per cent. READ MORE But when the supplier recently confirmed new prices for newsprint from July 1, the price rose as much as 80 percent. “The increase on this scale, imposed by the only supplier of newsprint in Australia, is almost unbelievable,” – say Mr. Catalan and Mr. Manuel. “Our titles bring vital good to the community and we are devastated that their future is about to be snatched away by a factor we simply cannot control.” A letter sent to Communications Minister Paul Fletcher, Labor Communications Spokeswoman Michelle Rowland and Nationals Deputy Prime Minister and Leader Barnaby Joyce, warns that without urgent financial assistance: the ACM network of 140 newspapers includes 14 daily titles such as The Canberra Times and Newcastle Herald. The company employs more than 1,300 people nationwide, including 600 journalists. In its broad presentation to the recent parliamentary inquiry into regional newspapers, ACM said it did not want to “depend on long state taxes” and instead recommended guaranteeing annual state advertising in regional newspapers and tax rebates for regional businesses advertising in their regional newspapers. local newspaper. The final report of the investigation, published in March, supports a number of practical measures recommended by the ACM. In their joint letter to key parties, the ACM and CPA note that the tax breaks they recommended to the investigation as a way to offset rising paper prices will not be enough. READ MORE “An increase of 80% in such a short time means that we now need immediate financial assistance to prevent job closures and losses,” wrote Mr. Catalan and Mr. Manual. “We understand that the government is in a state of temporary action, but by the time of the election we will have only a few weeks left from the unsustainable growth of our spending.” Labor said it was ready to work with the coalition to formulate a “crisis response” in line with the conventions. “Intervention in support of public interest journalism, including direct grants, should be based on fact-based and sound facts,” said Labor spokeswoman Michelle Rowland. Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce acknowledged that “the fourth estate is incredibly important”, but did not commit to supporting regional newspapers through emergency funding. “You can’t have democracy even at the local government level if you don’t have journalistic investigations,” he said. “You may not like them all the time, but they are vital to getting stories.” Communications Minister Paul Fletcher met with representatives of the ACM and CPA this week for a briefing on the emergency support needed to prevent job closures and losses.

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