Regional and rural newspapers will be handed a financial lifeline amid surging print costs which has threatened the industry's viability.
ACM can reveal the Albanese government will begin consultation in the next week for the delivery of $15 million in grants to help regional and rural newspaper companies deal with the hike in print costs.
During the election Labor pledged $29 million in funding for regional print and broadcast media following calls by the industry that newsrooms outside of the major cities would shut down without government help.
More than 300 titles are set to benefit from the funding.
Communications Minister Michelle Rowland said newspapers were vital links in regional and remote areas, and removing newsrooms would have a detrimental impact on information access for communities.
"The Australian government will support eligible print publishers to alleviate the increasing costs of print publishing, which threatens the sustainability of regional and local community newspapers, and local journalism jobs," Ms Rowland said.
"This funding will help the sector absorb the increases so they can continue their vital work in their local communities."
Ms Rowland partially blamed mismanagement of the previous government for exposing the industry to external shocks such as a print price hike.
Financial support for regional media garnered bipartisan support during the recent election campaign, with the Coalition pledging its own rescue package of $10 million.
Labor had first raised the issue of rising printing costs in April.
Within the pool of funds made available by Labor, $10 million will be set aside for regional mastheads, while a further $5 million will be for local newspapers. This includes independent suburban, First Nations and multicultural publishers.
ACM managing director Tony Kendall said the funding would help keep local journalism available for long-standing newspaper readers around the country.
"We welcome the support of Minister Rowland and thank the government of Anthony Albanese for responding swiftly to this threat to hundreds of newspapers serving Australia's regional and suburban communities," Mr Kendall said.
"We look forward to working with the department to present the case for ACM's trusted mastheads to share in the funding, which will greatly assist in maintaining local newspapers and the jobs they support "
Eligible media outlets will be able to lodge applications with the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts.
It is a demand driven scheme where the applicant will receive a grant based on a proportion of printing costs, with the department making the final decision on which publishers gets the grants.
Consultation with the department is expected to begin this week with payments understood to be expedited as soon as possible.
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