Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry has launched the Save Regional Newspapers petition to save regional news and administration jobs and to implore News Corp to reconsider their decision to cease printing of regional newspapers in Central Queensland.
Ms Landry said News Corp has let down the communities it purports to serve.
“Locals rely on regional newspapers for the honest and steadfast coverage of the issues that are important to them. In a time during the coronavirus pandemic, this is needed now more than ever.
“It’s also tragic to hear of the jobs lost to people who want to live in the regions. While details are not confirmed, there are reports of staff numbers being cut in half,” Ms Landry said.
The petition calls upon News Corp to:
• Immediately defer its decision to reduce over 100 mastheads to online only, including 27 papers in Queensland.
• Explore all available options to keep these newspapers in print, including but not limited to:
o Soliciting bids for the newspapers from local consortia and business people;
o Merging proximal newspapers under a single new masthead;
o Consider print editions to be published not on a daily basis but at least twice a week;
o Any other reasonable commercial option that allows for the physical printing of Central Queensland newspapers
Member for Dawson George Christensen, who supports the petition, said the loss of local printed newspapers will be felt by locals.
“It is gut-wrenching to see it come to this; that we will lose our daily, bi-weekly and weekly papers in Mackay, Proserpine, the Whitsundays, Bowen and the Burdekin – which is just about every centre in my electorate,” Mr Christensen said.
“It’s basically the entire APN stable of mastheads which changed hands about four years ago.
The petition will be available for people to sign in person at the electorate office of Michelle Landry (71-73 Denham Street, Rockhampton). Copies will also be sent to local newsagencies and any interested parties who are seeking to get involved.
The petition is also available to sign online via the following link: