27 July 2023

Digital news survey to prove the impact of local, independent news

| Genevieve Jacobs
Start the conversation
building exterior

Region is participating in a nationwide survey on digital media’s impact. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

In the midst of huge changes in Australian media, independently owned platforms like Region, publisher of Riotact, are among the few bright lights in an increasingly disrupted market.

We’re looking for your help to create some meaningful research about the impact we’re making on Australian lives. Region is participating in a survey with the Digital Publishers Alliance (DPA), a not-for-profit peak body that advocates for independent publishers nationally.

The DPA is working to challenge many of the longstanding arrangements with traditional media, including its tight hold on government advertising contracts in regional Australia.

To support that cause, the DPA is about to kick off a research project about independent media’s impact. A research white paper will be released in mid-September, aiming to shine a light on the power of independent publishers and the role we play in the life of everyday Australians.

This research will help us understand more about our audiences and their high level of engagement. It explores several key themes, including the trust independent publishers are held in by their audiences, their support of Australian businesses and brands, and the context in which they work.

It should help us to advocate with governments and the industry for support, advertising revenue and a fair share of the media dollars that help provide your news.

READ ALSO ‘Footprint has changed’ for Multicultural Festival and it may be forced to move from the city

This year’s Digitals News Review, conducted by the University of Canberra, found that “the decline in the use of regional newspapers reflects the ongoing uncertainty of the sector with many regional news outlets contracting or closing”.

Locally, we’ve seen redundancies across the sector, although here at Region our team is growing. We now operate in Canberra and the surrounding Capital Region, the Riverina, Illawarra and Far North Queensland, with plans to grow further in the coming months.

Region is wholly locally owned and operated, and so are the stories we tell. Our journalists work locally and all our news is free, without a paywall or subscription.

We know our model works, but there’s a real need for evidence to back up the growing impact that organisations like ours have on the Australian market.

There are 13 questions in the survey, including one about Region, and you’ll see mention of a couple of other DPA members that are also participating in the research project.

The questions ask about what you want from your media, who you trust for news and other content, what your social media use is like, and what you care about most in media.

The research will be carried out independently by the DPA and is not affiliated with any other institution or commercial enterprise. All responses are anonymous.

You can participate in the survey here and do your bit to support independent, locally owned, free media. Thanks for your support, and for helping independent local media to flourish in regional Australia.

Start the conversation

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.