To support public interest journalism during the COVID-19 pandemic the release of the 2020 Round of the Regional and Small Publishers Innovation Fund has been brought forward. Applications open today to regional and metropolitan applicants.
Administered by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), a total of $5 million is available for the 2020 Round, with a maximum of $400,000 for any applicant.
ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin said the funding will assist publishers of public interest journalism, particularly in regional areas.
“The Innovation Fund has a strong record of helping publishers improve their sustainability and develop a range of innovative projects,” Ms O’Loughlin said.
“We hope to see a diversity of publishers from all over Australia apply for this grant. It is designed to assist publishers adapt to the challenges in the evolving media landscape.”
Previously funded projects include the development of audio news and podcasts, staff training on the use of new digital technology and the transition to new or updated websites and market research.
The ACMA will assess each application against the eligibility criteria. Eligible applications will be assessed against the assessment criteria, working closely with an Independent Advisory Committee appointed by the Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts.
Publishers and content service providers interested in applying should go to the government’s GrantConnect website (search GO ID: GO3940), where the grant opportunity is listed. This includes all the necessary information to apply online.
Applicants can find further details at acma.gov.au/innovationfund. Applications for this round of funding close on 22 May 2020. The ACMA expects to announce successful applicants in July 2020.
The Innovation Fund is part of the three year Regional and Small Publishers Jobs and Innovation package which began in 2018. This 2020 Round is separate to the Public Interest News Gathering (PING) Fund recently announced by the Australian Government in response to recommendations of the ACCC’s Digital Platforms Inquiry.