Regional media outlets have combined to raise awareness about the threatened nature of local television and radio broadcasters.
The campaign ‘Save Our Voices’, that has recently launched, combined the major regional media outlets of Win, Prime, Southern Cross Austereo and Imparja this week. They also introduced their website Save Our Voices, which is an initiative that intends to bring light to the reality of regional media.
The four stations have pushed to change outdated federal media laws that have left local stations exposed and struggling to compete with major cities and international media outlets, such as Google and Netflix.
Ian Audsley, CEO of Prime, said in a media release that there is “no mistake” that local content is under risk unless a change is made to these laws, referring to the fact that some regional stations have already been affected, with the closures of Mildura and Mackay.
“We need to get rid of rules that are prevent us from achieving the scale that that’s needed to maintain vital services.”
Mr Audsley stated that many regional and rural MPs want local broadcasting services to be heard and hope that this issue will be translated to Canberra and changes to these laws will be made.
“Regional broadcasters provide a voice for 9 million in regional and rural areas,” Win CEO, Andrew Lancaster said in a media release.
“We are a vital source of local news, information and current affairs and provide an essential community platform for regional Australia’s biggest news issues and unique concerns and perspectives.”
Mr Lancaster stressed that the current media laws are preventing local media outlets from expanding or merging with other outlets for growth in regional communities.
“Our license areas are now open to anyone who wants to compete with us,” he said.
Regional media stations employ over 2500 people in these areas and promote thousands of businesses to reach their customers.
The campaign will be broadcast tonight and intends to transform into a fully integrated media campaign from August to December. – Greta Levy
Top photo by Chris Matthews-Darby.