Last Meta fund projects ‘set to make difference’

Feb 17, 2024 at 10:12 am by admin

Projects that put video, women in sport and non-English languages first have been prioritised in Meta’s third and last Australian News Fund shareout.

Some 51 news publishers and independent journalists are listed by the Walkley Foundation as sharing $5 million in the Facebook company’s distribution.

The fund has shared $15 million between 150 eligible Australian-based newsrooms and journalists over three years, “to foster innovation and improve public interest journalism in Australia”.

The successful recipients are described as a “diverse set of digital-first publications and publishers that cater to underrepresented audiences such as culturally diverse, LGBTQI+, First Nation peoples, gender diverse, regional, rural, and economically disadvantaged communities and journalists working with a disability”.

Walkley Foundation chief executive Shona Martyn said it had been exciting to watch the success of the Meta-funded projects. Year One recipient Daniel Clarke, a freelance journalist and filmmaker, for example, went on to win a 2023 Walkley Award and was named South Australian Journalist of the Year for his documentary on the aftermath of the Kangaroo Island fires.

Clarke is again a recipient in this year’s journalism fund list.

“Equally impressive work is underway from the Year Two recipients, and so I am certain that this third tranche of recipients will also make a significant contribution to Australian journalism.

“Once again, the quality of entries was high and judges, all leading journalists, debated long and hard to reach their decisions.”

The Meta Australian News Fund has been divided into two funds, the Digital Innovation Fund and the Public Interest Journalism Fund. Both are administered through the Walkley Foundation, which nominated an independent external judging committee to review applications against the funds’ eligibility criteria, which included whether or not the project contributed to the news organisation’s long-term viability or provided a public benefit. 

Digital Innovation Fund grants were up to $250,000 to help newsrooms invest in digital and innovation projects that support economic sustainability, while the Public Interest Journalism Fund provided grants of up to $120,000 to invest in the creation of public interest journalism by newsrooms and independent journalists to encourage media diversity. 

Journalism Fund recipients are:

Agenda Media for Women’s Agenda – The New Rules, Women’s Sports Coverage and Podcast;

Bundaberg Media for Breaking Boundaries: Women of Bundaberg Sport;

Daniel Clarke/Ad Hoc Docs for untitled one-hour documentary based on Kangaroo Island;

Community Broadcasting Association of Australia to establish a First Nations Community Journalist in Canberra;

Chris Earl for sport connecting rural flood-hit communities;

Catherine Fox for Contributing Editor and Writers’ Program for Women in Media’s Gender Equality Initiative;

Geelong Independent for Regional News Inclusivity Initiative;

The Greek Herald (Foreign Language Press) for Video Series – The Greek Herald;

Gympie Today for Outback Pride Celebrating LGBTQIA+ stories in regional Queensland;

Ipswich Media for Deadly Athletes;

KORE Communication Strategy Research and KORE CSR for New England Times Investigations Unit;

Patrick Lenton for The LGBTQIA+ Media Watch Project;

The Local Publishing Group for Championing Women;

The Local Rag for ‘Regional Dialect’, amplifying the voices of regional communities;

Mibenge Nsenduluka for Back Cover, an agenda setting news portal that will be focussing on the diverse voices of Australia;

MMP Star for Women’s Health Project;

Lucie Morris Marr for Indigenous Australian special project series;

North East Media for Agenda Setting Editorial Topics Digital First Publishing;

Out Publications for LGBTQIA+ Journalism Project;

Pulse Media Group for Pulse Hobart & Tasmania – Regional Youth Journalism;

Rachel Rayner for Discover This – Rachel Rayner, Science Explainer;

The Riverine Grazier for The Riverine Grazier Local Journalism Digital Storytelling and Website Upgrade Project;

South Burnett Today for Indigenous Language News;

Stormvale (Creighton Family Trust) Boonah Newspaper Co for Video capability to enhance PIJ and newsroom sustainability;

Peri Strathearn for Telling the Murraylands’ Stories;

Sydney Educational Broadcasting for 2SER Independent Radio News;

Times News Group and Surf Coast News Australia for SheThrives: Amplifying Female Voices;

Warrumbungle Publications for Wattle Magazine.

Digital Innovation Fund recipients are:

Agenda Media (Women’s Agenda) for Women’s Sport;

Altmedia/Project for City Hub Sydney Digitisation of Historic Archives;

Australian Neighbourhood Media for The Hawkesbury Post;

Australian Property Media Publications for Social, Community and Indigenous Housing, Women’s Crisis Accommodation;

Australian Science Media Centre for Scimex Upgrade;

Big Issue in Australia to Support a new Digital Content Creator whose role it is to ideate and execute The Big Issue’s digital ecosystem;.

CBAA/Community Broadcasting Association of Australia for CBAA: Collaborative Newsroom Project;

Central Queensland Media for Climate Changers;

Communico Media Group/Intermedia Group Project for Communico Media Group;

The Daily Aus for The Smart Friend in Your DMs;

Gympie Today for Fires Floods and First Responders;

National Indigenous Radio Service for National Indigenous Radio Service;

North East Media trading as Mid West Media for North East Media Pty Ltd trading as Mid West Media;

Peppermint Magazine for Peppermint Publishing Digital;

Pulse Media Group for Pulse Hobart/Tasmania – Realtime Digital Reporting;

The Royal Institution of Australia for The Royal Institution of Australia;

SA Today for Tennant Creek News;

South Burnett Today for Western Downs News Service;

Squiz Media Project for Newshounds by Squiz Kids;

Surf Coast News Australia/Times News Group for Empowering Journalists with Multi-Platform Content Creation;

Sydney Educational Broadcasting for 2SER Digital Innovation in Podcasting & Comedy;

Vertical Networks Group for Arts Hub; and

Women in Media Australia for Women in Media.

Pictured: Ad Hoc Docs’ series about the Glitter Gang, chosen to pitch at Screen Australia’s Australian International Documentary Conference

Sections: Digital business


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