Meta and Walkleys open applications for 2022
SYDNEY, 8AM Wednesday September 7
Meta, in partnership with the Walkley Foundation, has today launched the second round of the AU$15 million Meta Australian News Fund. Applications for the $5 million Year 2 funding program are now open, and will be offered to media organisations and independent journalists in two streams:
- The Digital Innovation Fund: This $2.5 million fund will help newsrooms invest in digital and innovation projects that support economic sustainability. Successful applicants will be allocated up to $250,000 to fund digital and innovative newsroom projects that support the sustainability of their business.
- The Public Interest Journalism Fund: This $2.5 million fund will invest in the creation of public interest journalism by newsrooms and independent journalists to encourage media diversity. Successful applicants (newsrooms or independent journalists) will be allocated up to $120,000 to create public interest journalism.
Preference for both funds will be given to:
- Publications that serve underrepresented audiences including but not limited to: culturally diverse, LGBTQI+, First Nations people, gender diverse, regional or rural, and economically disadvantaged communities.
- Digital-only publications.
- Journalists working with a disability.
“This fund continues to provide opportunities for media organisations and independent journalists to innovate and create self-sustaining business models,” Andrew Hunter, News Partnerships Lead for Meta Australia said. “In this second round, funds will be optimised towards digital-first publications and applicants that serve underrepresented audiences in Australia.”
Eligible Australian-based newsrooms and journalists can apply to either or both funds under the Meta Australian News Fund. The Walkley Foundation will administer both funds and will nominate an independent external judging committee to review applications against the funds’ eligibility criteria.
“I have been excited to see the progress of the journalism projects that were funded in the first round,” Shona Martyn, the CEO of the Walkley Foundation said. “Australian communities and news consumers have undoubtedly benefited as a result. This second round encourages a broader range of applicants and projects with the aim of increasing media diversity and awarding funding to underrepresented groups across Australia.”
Applications for the Meta Australia News Fund close on October 7, 2022, and successful recipients will be announced before the end of March 2023.
Last year, the Meta Australia News Fund in partnership with the Walkley Foundation awarded 54 newsrooms and independent journalists a combined $5M in funding. As a result of this funding, the recipients have been able to launch innovative and sustainability projects and produce public interest journalism.
Four media organisations launched new apps, two are in the process of implementing membership models and subscriber-only content, and three news websites have opened in regional Australia. Two image and story archives are under construction, and several news websites have been rebranded or re-launched. You can read more about the projects delivered through last year’s funding here, and in the below case studies about Region Media and AAP News.
Visit our program landing page here.
Region Media – MoJo video production kits
Canberra-based publisher Region Group received funding for “MoJo” kits consisting of smartphones, production field kits and editing software to enable journalists to shoot, edit and publish video content while reporting in the field.
The Editor of Region’s flagship publication RiotACT, Genevieve Jacobs, said the MoJo kits have greatly enhanced the publication’s ability to convey breaking news to its 687,000-strong audience.
“Video tells stories text can’t. It captures the emotion and excitement of events, the anger and fear or confusion of urgent news. Speedy, simple video production for social media spreads those stories far and wide, fast,” Jacobs said.
“As a digital only platform, video and social content are a critical part of our news mix. Readers need content that is accurate, accessible and created on the spot. Social media energises and amplifies our strong news stories and creates community conversations that bring us together.”
AAP News – Remote regional news reporting series
AAP News journalists and photographers travelled to remote western Cape York to hear the stories of Indigenous elders, mining bosses, scientists, elected officials, police officers and artists. The trip was one of three remote reporting assignments funded by “Project Petrichor” which translates to “The Smell of Rain”. The funding provided a unique opportunity to tell stories from a region underserved by local media.
“Western Cape York is where Europeans and Indigenous Australians made first contact in 1606, and that intense story is yet to be resolved. Telling local stories will introduce Australia to the diverse region’s inspirational peoples, and its troubled history, and trigger fresh debates about its future, which have largely been ignored or suppressed by powerful outsiders,” said AAP Queensland Chief of Staff Martin Silk.
For more information on the Meta Fund, please visit our program landing page.
The Walkley Foundation: Kate Burgess on +61 402 479 499 or at email@example.com.
James Gorman on +414 990 480 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meta: Gina Murphy, Policy Communications Manager, email@example.com.