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JNI welcomes recommendations of regional newspaper inquiry

The Institute welcomes the findings of the report into The Future of Regional Newspapers in a Digital World.

Recognising that the recent launch of the Local and Independent News Association (LINA) with the CBAA is a good way of assisting local publishers, the Standing Committee on Communications and the Arts agreed that the new organisation will assist regional and hyperlocal news organisation to expand their business models and innovate news production.

Additional federal government support for LINA, as recommended in the report, would allow for even greater capacity building support to the burgeoning, but challenged, hyperlocal news market.

JNI’s Executive Director Mark Ryan said: “Local and hyperlocal media outlets are critical in connecting communities, and to cover local issues that matter in areas underserved by larger media outlets.”

“Our experience tells us that philanthropic and public grants may be able to assist local and regional news organisations in the short term, but this is not a sustainable or reliable revenue stream, or business model.

“So, the Committee’s recommendation that LINA, which JNI co-founded with CBAA, receive Government support is a welcome endorsement of our strategy to create an organisation to help existing hyperlocal outlets build sustainable businesses, as well as encourage new entrants to the market.”