Café society: Local publishers meet up in Port Douglas

May 06, 2024 at 01:05 pm by admin

Micro-publication The Pineapple won a mention when communications Michelle Rowland helped open LINA’s Port Douglas summit on Thursday.

Owner and editor Vivienne Wynter (pictured) says its aims to be juicy and nutritious, like the iconic fruit – and also like a café “where you come in and notice people talking, debating, discussing, eating, drinking, dancing and connecting in a way that’s curious, hopeful, intelligent, respectful, progressive and fun”.

In Port Douglas, Queensland, where she was one of more than 75 delegates from more than 50 news organisations, Wynter spoke of benefits from the summit, with tools available to support independent publishers, which the week had “demystified and made me feel more confident about using them”.

In her opening address, minister Rowland spoke of LINA’s growth with members generating more than $14 million in revenue, also mentioning the Illawarra Flame’s coverage of issues involving offshore turbines, and the service to the Greek community of Neos Kosmos since 1957 as the first multicultural masthead to have stories in both Greek and English. 

The second annual summit of the Local and Independent News Association, the event included sessions on revenue and sustainability for newsrooms, audience trust and engagement, public interest journalism, and how journalists and publishers can support their work by harnessing new technology.

In her opening address Rowland thanked LINA and member publishers for submissions on the News MAP programme – currently being developed – and said she was “focussed on ways to enable a diverse and sustainable media landscape to support a strong and healthy democracy.

“Local, hyper-local, digital and independent news is key to this,” she said.

“We are also preparing to introduce a bill for an Australian content obligation on streaming services as well as legislation to empower the ACMA to hold digital platforms to account for seriously harmful misinformation and disinformation online.

“All Australians – regardless of where they live – want, and deserve, access to local news that they can rely upon. LINA’s members provide precisely that.”

LINA executive director Claire Stuchbery says the summit – co-hosted by local news service Newsport – provided an opportunity for publishers to connect while workshopping new strategies and receiving training and insights from leaders in the media.

“It’s important that we support news publishers through this turbulent time of industry transition by providing them with resources to diversify income streams, connect with new audiences, and continue to produce high quality news within their communities,” she said.

“Local newsrooms play a critical role delivering information and connecting communities in a media landscape that is becoming increasingly impacted by news deserts and content syndication.”

Pictured: Vivienne Wynter against a background of Port Douglas’ Four Mile Beach; delegates pose for a group pcture

Sections: Newsmedia industry


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