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Fund Pacific media to counter China

Asia-Pacific Development, Diplomacy & Defence Dialogue 2 mins read

Media release | Friday, 28 June 2024

Federal government funding for news organisations in the Pacific would strengthen development across the Pacific and buffer against China, according to the Asia-Pacific Development, Diplomacy & Defence Dialogue (AP4D).

The research paper – What does it look like for Australia to Support Youth, Civil Society and Media in the Pacific – said funding could take the form of bankrolling infrastructure, transmission and equipment upgrades.

It is one of five key recommendations from consultations with more than 50 experts across Australian and the Pacific media and academia. This includes a fund to develop local civil society organisations and a ‘knowledge hub’ to pool resources across the region. 

AP4D Executive Director Melissa Conley Tyler said establishing a specific media infrastructure fund would help maintain strong and independent journalism, and Australia’s relationships, across the Pacific.

“Newsrooms in the Pacific are particularly stretched and struggle to access basic funding for broadcasting and publishing from donors like Australia or the United Nations,” she said. 

“Media organisations often don’t have the resources to apply in the first place or say that they feel they are forced to jump through unwieldy and complex hoops to compete for funding. 

‘This is a space China is also working in. 

“Establishing a media infrastructure fund would help ensure newsrooms remain financially viable, reach new audiences, and underpin better wages and conditions for journalists.

“Australia already provides funding for civil infrastructure in the Pacific, and this could easily be extended to upgrade ageing equipment and infrastructure.

“A strong and independent media is crucial to maintain government accountability and transparency as the contest for influence in the Pacific tightens.”

Shadow Minister for International Development and the Pacific Michael McCormack will launch the paper on Friday. Register for the AP4D Symposium | Supporting Pacific Youth, Civil Society and Media webinar here.


Contact details:

Georgie Moore
0477 779 928

Media

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