Andrew Lomas
By Andrew Lomas on 13/05/2020 4:43:48 PM

Public Interest News Gathering (PING) 2020 Program - What you need to know

A NEW $50 million demand-driven grant is now available for regional television and radio broadcasters, and regional publishers, to continue to provide public interest journalism in regional Australia.The objective of the program is to support regional broadcasters and publishers to maintain or increase their production and distribution of public interest journalism in regional Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In short, the grant amount is calculated based on the revenue of each publisher as a percentage of the total pool of revenue and whether you offer regional TV, radio, or publishing services. This means that the grant amount will vary depending on the size of your revenue and the number of publishing streams you offer.

The grant can be used to fund a wide range of activities, such as production and revenue related activities, including equipment, content, technology, training, and staff costs.

This program is the Government’s response to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) Digital Platforms Inquiry by replacing the remaining Regional and Small Publishers Jobs and Innovation Package.

The PING Program is managed by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, and Communications whilst the ACMA manages the Regional and Small Publishers Innovation Fund 2020 round.

Creative Folks can provide advisory services and technology solutions for Digital Asset Management, content production workflows, app development, and training and education services for staff.

Who can apply for the Public Interest News Gathering funding?

Regional newspapers (including online newspapers) and regional commercial television and radio licensees that produce public interest journalism are eligible to apply for grant funding through the program. Further details will be available when we release the Grant Guidelines.

This current Regional and Small Publishers Innovation Fund 2020 round is still active with entries closing on the 22nd of May for grants of up to $400,000 to aid projects to assist with the transformation of publishing services and revenue. An eligible publisher CAN apply for BOTH grants, however, broadcast content providers can only apply to the PING Program.

What can the funding be used for?

Grants awarded under this opportunity are intended to fund a broad range of activities that relate to the applicant’s production and distribution of public interest journalism in support of the objective and outcomes of the program as outlined in section two of the guidelines. In particular, to maintain or increase their production and distribution of public interest journalism in regional Australia during the grant period.

The eligible expenditure must primarily be for the applicant’s production and distribution of public interest news journalism during the Grant period and without limitation, includes:

  • purchase or lease of assets and equipment
  • acquisition of relevant content, intellectual property or other rights
  • the costs of acquiring technology to assist with the production or distribution of content
  • salaries for employees that are directly connected to the production of public interest journalism or to the generation of revenue to fund the production of public interest journalism
  • costs to assist journalists with content production and distribution
  • costs of staff training
  • office and travel costs related to public interest journalism
  • other costs that directly support the production and distribution of public interest journalism

There is no maximum grant amount per grantee but grants cannot exceed the number of available funds. Each applicant may lodge only one application for this Grant Opportunity but can apply for funding through more than one stream.

The program is separate to the Regional and Small Publishers Innovation Fund (2020 Round), which is being administered by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). Regional publishers can apply for funding under both programs.

Additionally, publishers and content service providers who applied for grants in the previous rounds of the Regional and Small Publishers Innovation Fund (including applicants who were awarded grants under those rounds) are also permitted to apply for this Grant Opportunity.

What are the timelines for securing Public Interest News Gathering funding?

This Grant Opportunity will be open for 3 weeks from Thursday, 7 May 2020 until 5:00 pm AEST Friday, 29 May 2020.

To learn how Creative Folks can help you with your PING application submission and solution implementation, visit our 2020 Public Interest News Gathering Fund page.

Topics: Public Interest News Gathering funding

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