CANBERRA, Australia – The largest newspaper publisher in Australia, News Corp, announced on Thursday that most heads of suburbs and regions across the country will become digital-only next month because of the pandemic and digital platforms sharing their content.
News Corp, Australasia’s chief executive Michael Miller described the changes that will take effect on June 29 as significant and said jobs would be lost. He did not say how much.
“COVID-19 has an impact on the sustainability of community and regional publishing. Apart from News Corp’s digital masthead audience which grew by more than 60% when Australians switched to trusted media sources during the recent peak of COVID-19 locking, print ad expenditures which accounted for the majority of our revenue, have accelerated their decline, “Miller said in a statement.
Google and Facebook
not rewarding local publishers for content makes mastheads unsustainable, Miller said.
“This initiative is important. They will involve fundamental changes in how we conduct our business but that is necessary, “Miller said.
Some mastheads, or newspaper titles, will disappear, but their news will be published in other regional parts of the masthead, he said.
Paul Murphy, chief executive of the Australian Journalists Association – Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance – said he understood that 150 editorial work would be lost.
“We have seen more than one hundred titles across the country closed in the region and in local news coverage,” Murphy said. “This really underlines the scale of the crisis facing regional and local journalism in this country which has been headed by this pandemic.”
postponed printing operations for 60 local newspapers in Australia in early April because advertising revenue vanished due to the pandemic.
The government has announced that Google and Facebook will be forced to pay for news content in Australia.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, trade watchdog, will release a draft regulation in July for a platform to pay fair compensation for journalistic content sucked from the news media.
News Corp publishes best-selling newspapers in most of the largest cities in Australia. This is also the holding company of MarketWatch.
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