Local Journalism in Australia

Policy debates

Authored by: Kristy Hess , Lisa Waller

The Routledge Companion to Local Media and Journalism

Print publication date:  April  2020
Online publication date:  April  2020

Print ISBN: 9780815375364
eBook ISBN: 9781351239943
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781351239943-12

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Abstract

The future of public interest journalism has generated debate in recent years as governments across the Western world grapple with the question of how to regulate the changing digital environment and super powers including Facebook and Google. In Australia, there has been especially urgent public and policy discussion around the future of public interest journalism at the local level. There have been closures of local radio stations and major redundancies across the sector, but local news is a tale of mixed fortunes, with many newspapers maintaining viability, unlike media markets including the United Kingdom that have seen the closure of hundreds of local mastheads. However, changes to media ownership regulation, mergers and sell-offs, coupled with social media competition, have Australian industry leaders, policymakers and communities fearing for the future of quality information providers, especially in regional and remote areas. This chapter provides an overview of local journalism in Australia, focusing on these key policy debates and challenges in the digital era.

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