David Littlerpoud MP David Littlerpoud

Have your say on Australia’s regional newspapers and accessing local news

January 27, 2022

Newspaper readers in rural and regional Australia are five times more likely to go directly to their local newspaper website than Google or Facebook for local information. This was a key finding of a recent survey of almost 4,200 Australian country newspaper readers.

Federal Member for Maranoa David Littleproud, who’s electorate covers almost 43% of Queensland, knows the pain of a changed media landscape in the bush.

He’s urging fellow regional Queenslanders to put forward their views to the federal parliamentary inquiry into Australia’s regional newspapers.

“We know that local news is vital to an interconnected community,” Mr Littleproud said.

“We know that people are passionate about printed local newspapers in rural and regional Australia, with over 70% preferring to read a printed local paper rather than online.”

“At a time when many regional and remote newspaper services are shutting down or moving online, the government must understand the needs of regional communities, and how heavily they rely on their local newspapers to stay connected,” he said.

As part of the inquiry, the Representatives Standing Committee on Communications and the Arts, chaired by Dr Anne Webster MP, will examine the impact of decisions by large publishers to suspend publication of print editions; entry into these or other markets by new operators, particularly small businesses; impact of the News Media Bargaining Code for regional and remote newspapers; and the economic recovery in regional and remote markets from the impacts of COVID, and whether this has led to advertising revenue improving.

Mr Littleproud said the online survey, seeking views on how Australians living in regional, rural or remote areas access news, is open until 11 February 2022 and takes less than 10 minutes to complete.

 Australia’s Regional Newspapers Survey (surveymonkey.com)