David Littlerpoud MP David Littlerpoud

News Corp abandons regional communities as mastheads to disappear from bush towns

September 3, 2021

Maranoa MP David Littleproud has called out News Corp for turning its back on regional Queensland as the media giant has confirmed it will no longer distribute newspapers to bush communities from September 26.

“News Corp’s catchphrase ‘We’re for you’ is a total farse. It only applies to those living in a city because News Corp has drawn a line on a map of Queensland and said it won’t distribute newspapers past that point,” Mr Littleproud said.

“This is a heartless decision by News Corp that leaves bush communities in the dark and shows a level of discrimination just because of your postcode.

“This move changes the landscape of news and affects businesses – like newsagents and local freight companies – as News Corp starves this industry in the bush.

“When I first heard of News Corp’s intention to cease newspaper distribution in western communities, I contacted News Corp to request they not cease distribution, but rather work with local newsagents and freight companies to find a viable solution moving forward.

“While News Corp did initially meet with some newsagency owners to discuss the situation, there was minimal contact from News Corp after that.

“The newsagency owners and freight companies were the ones making all the effort to find a way forward – they did their utmost to put workable solutions forward to News Corp to keep newspapers in their rural communities – but News Corp just wouldn’t budge on their decision.

“I am extremely disappointed with News Corp and I have written to News Corp’s Managing Director Jason Scott to ask that he continue to look for a workable solution through a shared freight mechanism with other businesses, or at least hold a trial period to test some new options.

“I hope News Corp will do the right thing by rural Australians and rural businesses and opt to reverse their decision and continue distribution.

“For many of our seniors, printed content is their only way to stay informed with community, state and national news. Taking away that valuable resource leaves communities in the dark and puts them at a disadvantage to their city counterparts.

“Not to mention the significant implications for businesses in regional Queensland who will have these publications unfairly ripped from their shelves.”

Fast facts:

  • News Corp have announced that September 26, 2021 will mark the last day The Courier-Mail, The Australian, The Daily Telegraph, Townville Bulletin, Cairns Post, The Chronicle (Toowoomba), The Weekly Times and The Sportsman newspaper mastheads will be delivered to homes and businesses in bush towns.
  • In Maranoa alone 10 newspapers (The Stanthorpe Border Post, Warwick Daily News, South Burnett Times, Dalby Herald, Chinchilla Daily News, The Western Star, The Western Times, Balonne Beacon, Surat Basin News and Rural Weekly) ceased printing last year, a move that was replicated around Australia with more than 100 print papers no longer in circulation with 14 titles disappearing completely.
  • News Corp newspaper cuts last year meant huge job losses including journalists, print, administration and advertising staff.