Government advertising crucial for rural communities and country newspaper viability
The Commonwealth Government is regularly failing to advertise in country newspapers. The ‘my Aged Care’ launch in 2014, recent Small Business ‘boost’ package and Green Army campaigns, and the upcoming Jobactive information campaign were not advertised in country weekly newspapers.
In Question Time today, Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, called on Special Minister of State, Mal Brough, to increase print advertising in rural and regional weekly newspapers. Government programs to assist communities and individuals should be included in any media campaign to relay relevant information.
“Communities in the country rely on information being placed in the local newspaper. The newspaper is still a trusted source for people getting their news,” Ms McGowan said.
“Country communities still need their local paper to keep them informed, to highlight issues and to promote successes. In regional communities, internet news access is much lower than in metropolitan areas, distances are further, and the needs are often greater.”
Ms McGowan is raising this issue on behalf of the industry, including newspapers in Indi.
“Government advertising in rural and regional newspapers has decreased sharply. This not only impacts the community receiving Government information, but also the continued viability of rural newspapers,” she said.
Ms McGowan said important Government initiatives are relevant to all people.
“Local businesses in particular need to be aware of Government programs to take advantage of the benefits,” she said.