Skip to main content

Regional and Small Publishers Innovation Fund

We administer the Australian Government’s Regional and Small Publishers Innovation Fund, in support of public interest journalism.

About the Fund

The fund began in 2018 as part of the Australian Government's $60.4 million Regional and Small Publishers Jobs and Innovation Package.

The fund provided up to $16 million in grants over 3 years.

2020 Round

On 12 November 2020, the ACMA awarded funding to 2 additional recipients for the 2020 Round of the Regional and Small Publishers Innovation Fund. This was possible due to a reduction of grant funding to an existing 2020 Round grant recipient.

In selecting the 2 recipients, we used the same selection process set out at section 8.1 of the 2020 Round Grant Opportunity Guidelines of the Regional and Small Publishers Innovation Fund. This included considering how well the application met the assessment criteria, how the application compared to other applications, the amount of funding available, the duration of projects and the time available.

See the updated list of 43 successful applicants and their projects.

2020 Round recipients

On 5 August 2020, the ACMA announced the recipients of the $5 million 2020 Round of the Regional and Small Publishers Innovation Fund. This supported 41 small and regional publishers and content service providers of public interest journalism.

About the 2020 Round

  • The 2020 Round provided up to $5 million in grants to regional and metropolitan publishers and content service providers of public interest journalism.
  • It was separate to the Public Interest News Gathering (PING) program.

Updated summary of 2020 Round

We assessed 319 applications against the eligibility criteria. We found 238 to be eligible to move to the merit assessment stage.

We awarded funding to 43 regional and metropolitan applicants across Australia, including:

  • 16 from NSW
  • 14 from Victoria
  • 6 from Queensland
  • 2 from ACT
  • 2 from South Australia
  • 2 from Tasmania
  • one from Western Australia.

Advisory committee

The Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, appointed an advisory committee to assess the business cases of eligible applications and provide advice to the ACMA. The committee comprised:

  • Megan Brownlow as Chair (Principal, Housten Consulting)
  • Louisa Graham (CEO, Walkley Foundation)
  • Michael Malone (Director NBN Co Limited; Seven West Media Limited)
  • Susan Skelly (Adjudication Panel Member, Australian Press Council)
  • Greg Watson (Secretary, Queensland Country Press Association).

Past grants

Since the fund began, we’ve run 2 separate rounds: Round one in 2018 and the Regional Grant Opportunity Round in 2019.

Round one (2018 Round)

The first round closed in August 2018. Under this round, we awarded around $3.6 million to 25 grant applicants for 29 projects.

Read more about the process, successful applicants and their projects for the 2018 Round.

The Regional Grant Opportunity

The Regional Grant Opportunity (RGO) closed June 2019. Under this round, we awarded around $9 million to 62 grant applicants.

Read more about the process, successful applicants and their projects.

Get in touch

We’re here to answer your questions, email us at innovationfund@acma.gov.au.

Back to top
ONLINE ENQUIRY