Civic journalism has been given a boost with up to $3.6 million in grants awarded under the first round of the Morrison Government’s Regional and Small Publishers Innovation Fund.
The Innovation Fund is part of the Government’s comprehensive Broadcasting and Content Reform package to strengthen regional and small publishers. The Fund is a competitive grants program independently administered by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).
“This funding is all about helping regional and small publishers transform their businesses to increase their capacity to provide public interest journalism relevant to their communities,” said the Minister for Communications and the Arts, Senator Mitch Fifield.
“It will enable regional and small publishers to innovate across a wide range of business activities related to the production of civic journalism. This includes market research, trials of new business models, podcasts, and video capability,” he said.
The ACMA has awarded grants to 29 projects by 25 successful applicants nationwide with a mix of regional and metropolitan proposals funded.’ Applications under the Innovation Fund were open to publishers across Australia. In awarding funding, the ACMA took advice from the independent expert advisory committee appointed by the Minister. The membership of the advisory committee is here.
The list of successful applicants is available on the ACMA’s website at www.acma.gov.au/theACMA/the-innovation-fund
“The ACMA will open the next grant round early in 2019. I expect that more grants will be allocated in future rounds as applicants become more familiar with the Fund and its requirements,” said Minister Fifield.