In recent months we have seen more than 150 regional and community newspapers cease printing. This is on top of the 106 local and regional papers that closed over the previous decade.
Many of those papers are more than a century old. Many may never reopen.
It shouldn’t be this way. The stories of regional and rural Australia are important: our stories matter.
The UTS Centre for Media Transition says:
“Regional media fulfils functions beyond the simple provision of information: it is often a focal point for community connection, cohesion and education.”
In other words, the local paper is the heartbeat of the community. It provides local news that the big cities can’t and/or won’t provide.
While the Government has announced a $50 million Public Interest News Gathering (PING) program to support regional journalism, more needs to be done.
Want to know what else you can do to help support regional newspapers?
After signing the petition, here are a few things:
1. Share this in any local Facebook groups you’re part of, for example, community or sports groups, and help build support for regional newspapers in your communities.
2.Show your support in a day of action on June 15. Have yourself photographed or videoed with the Our Communities, Our Stories banner on Monday, June 15. Share it on social media with the hashtags #ourstories, #ourcommunities and #MEAAmedia. Please tag us in to your posts @withmeaa on Twitter.
3. One more way you can help is to subscribe to your regional newspaper. Just head to your newspaper’s homepage website and click the subscribe button (normally near the top-right corner of the page).
Watch a discussion about why regional newspapers matter: