ABC Friends News

Closures despite government grants

Regional commercial broadcasters have announced a swathe of newsroom closures across the country, in spite of being given big government handouts under the Public Interest News Gathering grants process. 

According to the ABC, this could be in breach of the grant rules. 

A report says:

More than 100 regional publishers and broadcasters were awarded grants from the $50 million Public Interest News Gathering (PING) fund in June last year, as the Commonwealth tried to prop up an industry ravaged by depleted advertising revenue and COVID-19 restrictions.

But since then, some of the nation’s major media players have announced dramatic changes to their regional offerings.

The PING grant guidelines state that successful applicants “will be required to maintain existing levels of journalism production and distribution during the grant period”.