Two local newspapers, the Warragul Gazette and the Phillip Island and San Remo Advertiser have received funding from the Commonwealth Government through the Regional and Small Publishers Innovation Fund to develop their digital presence.

Russell Broadbent, Member for Monash, said the importance of regional journalism has never been more evident than now, during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Local newspapers have been the lifeblood of our communities for more than a century and in our technologically advanced society, it is crucial that they are supported to adapt to and adopt the latest in media communications.

“It’s great to see the Warragul & Drouin Gazette and the Phillip Island and San Remo Advertiser increasing their online presence which will help keep local jobs in our community,” Mr Broadbent said.

“Regional newspapers help keep our communities connected and informed and I am pleased that local papers have received this support that will see them continue both in print and online,” Mr Broadbent said.

The Warragul Gazette will receive $55,889 in funding and intends to increase their capability to create video and podcast content for current and potential audiences.

While the Phillip Island and San Remo Advertiser will receive $73,884 towards implementing their Digital Growth Project and maximise online presence by developing a classified module, upgrading IT and video production equipment and engaging journalists.

Both projects have been supported through the Innovation Fund administered by Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) as part of the Government’s Regional and Small Publishers Jobs and Innovation Package.

Over 300 applications were assessed by the ACMA, working closely with an independent advisory committee, through a competitive grants process. The ACMA will work with successful applicants to develop and enter into grant agreements as soon as practicable. The full list of recipients is available on the

ACMA’s website at: https://www.acma.gov.au/regional-and-small-publishers-innovation-fund.