In the decade to 2018, 106 local and regional newspapers closed in Australia. As a consequence, 21 local government areas are now without a local newspaper. On this episode Mark Kenny talks to Associate Professor Kristy Hess about the high price of losing local newspapers, and how communities are responding.
From death notices to court reporting and holding councils to account, local newspapers and the journalists working for them play an essential role in serving and informing communities. But around Australia, local newspapers are in crisis – suffering a long-term decline in advertising revenue, falling sales, and battered by the impact of COVID-19. So what’s the price of losing local papers, and are there new business models that could ensure their survival? Joining Professor Mark Kenny on this Democracy Sausage Second Serve is Associate Professor Kristy Hess of Deakin University.
Kristy Hess is an Associate Professor at Deakin University whose research focuses on local and community media.
Mark Kenny is a Professor in the ANU Australian Studies Institute. He came to the university after a high-profile journalistic career including six years as chief political correspondent and national affairs editor for The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, and The Canberra Times.
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This podcast is produced in partnership with The Australian National University.