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Full list of third-round recipients


Australian journalists and content makers across the country are invited to apply for the third round of the Meta Australian News Fund.

Now in its third and final year of funding, The Meta Australian News Fund, in partnership with the Walkley Foundation, has awarded AU$10M in funding to support more than 100 eligible Australian-based newsrooms and journalists to foster innovation and improve public interest journalism in Australia from the Meta Australian News Fund over three years in partnership with the Walkley Foundation. 

In the 2023 round, another AU$5M will be on offer to the Australian journalism industry.

The fund was first introduced in 2021, as part of Meta’s three-year commitment to supporting communities and fostering a culture innovation and strengthening public interest journalism in Australia.

Projects that support Public Interest Journalism and Digital Innovation will be at the centre of the Meta News fund. This year there will be an additional focus on stories or projects that prioritise: video first, women in sport, First Nations languages and languages other than English.

The Walkley Foundation manages the judging process independently of Meta.

About the Meta Australian News Fund

The Walkley Foundation independently manages the $15 million Meta Australian News Fund on behalf of Meta. Run over three years, we oversee a selection of successful projects using a rigorous judging process led by industry experts.

The funding program aims to foster digital innovation and improve public interest journalism in the Australian media and is part of the global Meta Journalism Project. In 2023, the Year 2 funding program is being offered in two streams:

  • The Digital Innovation Fund (“DI Program”) will allocate up to $2.5 million by awarding news organisations funding of up to $250,000 to fund digital and innovative newsroom projects that support the sustainability of the business.
  • The Public Interest Journalism Fund (“PIJ Program”) will allocate up to $2.5 million by awarding funding of up to $120,000 to news organisations or individuals to create public interest journalism that encourages media diversity.

Applications should be made by media organisations or journalists most directly responsible for the publication/masthead undertaking the project. Parent companies may apply on behalf of one or more organisations, however, they must disclose this clearly in their application.

Applicants who are eligible for both funds may apply to both funds. Only one application is permitted per fund. Applicants who received funding in a previous year of the Australian news Fund are eligible for funding, but they must disclose if they have previously received funding from the Facebook/Meta Australian News Fund and detail the results driven by the previous funding.

In 2023, preference will be given to projects which:

  • Serve underrepresented audiences including but not limited to: LGBTQIA+, First Nations Peoples, and First Nation’s languages, along with women in sport stories, regional and rural, youth and youth culture along with content that supports communities before, during and after natural disasters.
  • Are video-only publications.

In addition to the above, media organisations focusing on “lifestyle” topics such as the arts, travel and food will be considered as fund recipients. Applicants who have received funds will not be a priority for funding to apply for Year 3 funding.

Applications for the 2023 program opened on August 31 at midday and closed on September 25 at 11:59pm

Entries are subject to the following Terms and Conditions.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for either fund, applicants must:

  • Be an Australian-based media organisation with its primary business being the creation of news or informative content
  • Have demonstrated business operations for a minimum of one year prior to applying to the Program (based on objective measures such as corporate filings and business name registrations)
  • Have a minimum of two full-time journalism staff (or the equivalent) unless you are applying as an individual journalist
  • Publish informative content regularly through a digital channel such as a website, newsletter or social platform
  • Not have a content licensing agreement in place with Meta for Facebook News or video; and
  • Be able to contribute to a Meta case study and other marketing initiatives with Meta

For individual journalists applying to the PIJ fund only:

Entrants must be independent journalist(s) working primarily in Australia and must be either Australian citizens or permanent residents.

Additional eligibility criteria apply to both media organisations and independent journalists. Please read the full Terms & Conditions before applying.

Terms & Conditions

More about the program

The Meta Australian News Fund is a $15 million funding program spread over three years, and is managed by the Walkley Foundation on behalf of Meta.

In 2022, the Meta Australian News Fund provided $5 million of funding to 54 projects, including the following successful initiatives:

And the following initiatives which are underway:

Previous recipients

Public Interest Journalism Fund 

  • 360info – Website with tools for newsrooms to deliver visual storytelling
  • Arts Hub Australia Pty Ltd – A five-month pilot program to build a national network of 21 freelancers.
  • Australia India Media Group Pty Ltd – RIVR – a social-focused news service for the young South Asian community.
  • Australian Associated Press Ltd – A series of carefully planned, week-long reporting trips into the news deserts of remote Australia.
  • Australian Science Media Centre – Mainstream newsrooms are matched with groups of scientists to explore climate change, chronic pain and more.
  • Blank Gold Coast Pty Ltd – ‘Remarkable Stories’ series – up to 12 public interest items about women and non-binary folk covering rurual, youth, family violence and gender diversity.
  • Boonah Newspaper Co – Digital products, including a newsletter and hire of two new journalists
  • Bundaberg Media Pty Ltd – News coverage for Gin Gin and Childers, two QLD towns without a local news source.
  • Chinese News and Media Group – Website expansion, app upgrade and a new dedicated video page.
  • Country Caller – Hire of a part-time journalist
  • Declassified Australia – Growth funding for Declassified Australia, including a podcast and funding for editors and an IT specialist.
  • Freelance – Reporting on educational system issues in the Northern Territory.
  • Freelance / Caddie Brain – Reporting series on surveillance of incarcerated Indigenous people in remote Australia.
  • Gilgandra Newspapers Pty Ltd – Hire of journalists to report on local government and civic matters.
  • Gympie Today Pty Ltd – Reporting of flood-related social issues including housing and mental health.
  • Indigenous Community Television – Youth-focused news content for Indigenous youth-based channels.
  • Lismore App Pty Ltd – Hire of a part time journalist to cover flood rebuild and other civic issues.
  • Murray Bridge News – Hire of a part-time journalist and the coverage of topical issues in the local region.
  • National Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcasters Council (NEMBC) – Multilingual National News Service – 4-minute news bulletins in languages other than English.
  • National Indigenous Times – Launch of the NIT’s Lifestyle section and the hire of a Section Editor.
  • COM.AU – 12-month photographic investigation into the causes of Australia’s national housing crisis
  • Phoenix Group Of Newspapers – Mobile apps for each of the Phoenix newspapers
  • RPH Australia Co-operative – Opportunities for people with a disability to gain employment in the media sector.
  • SCMH Enterprises – Expanding the reporting team with the hire of a part-time graduate and two freelance journalists.
  • Seesaw Magazine Incorporated – Boost editorial team’s hours including a new journalist and sub-editor, and an increase in arts policy coverage
  • Shepparton Newspapers – ‘River Yarns’ project using freelance writers, video producers and photographers
  • Star News Group Pty Ltd – Mental health article series
  • The Local Publishing Group Pty Ltd – ‘Writing the Rainbow’ – Boosting LGBTQIA coverage of local issues
  • The Royal Institution of Australia – Extension of last year’s Greenlight Reporting series – an editorial team reporting on climate resilience in regional Australia.
  • Two Birds Media Pty Ltd – Hire of a part-time reporter to cover Gendered Violence
  • Western Sydney Publishing Group – The Dharug Connection is a print and digital project about Penrith’s Indigenous history.
  • Women In Media – Article series for Women In Media on gender equality.

Digital Innovation Fund

  • 360info – Customised user analytics dashboard
  • Adelphi Printing Pty Ltd as Trustee for the Paton Family Trust – Cloud-based editorial system upgrade
  • Australian Associated Press Ltd – AAP Photos digital asset management system
  • Cape York Weekly Pty Ltd – New online news platform and social media integration
  • Ethnic Publications Pty Ltd (trading as Neos Kosmos) – Digital story archive for Neos Kosmos
  • Graziher Publishing PTY LTD – Digital platform and subscription paywall
  • Maryborough Regional Newspapers – Upgrade news website to boost audience engagement and social media integration
  • Monaro Media Group – Newsroom editorial system upgrade
  • National Indigenous Times News Pty Ltd – NIT Multimedia, Videography and Podcasting Initiative
  • NSW Local App Company Pty Ltd – Umbrella app combining four local news brands
  • Out Publications P/L – Digital archive of the Star Observer
  • Paradigm Shift Media Pty Ltd – Collective community-funded public interest journalism project
  • Print & Digital Publishing Pty Ltd – New youth-focused What’s On website
  • Region Group Pty Ltd – ‘The Hoot’ regional-focused podcast
  • TBW Today Pty Ltd – New news website for Alice Springs
  • The Daily Aus Holdings Pty Ltd – ‘The Daily Educate’ online explainer portal for secondary school-age students
  • The Fold Media Pty Ltd – National expansion of ‘The Fold’’s lifestyle content to rural and regional Australia
  • The Royal Institution of Australia – Audio-described voice news and feature stories
  • Warragul Regional Newspapers Pty Ltd – Develop a digital content and audience strategy
  • Wimmera Mallee News – New online news platform and editorial system


RiotACT’s news app and “MoJo” video production kits

Region Media journalist Claire Fenwicke captures a glass blowing factory in action on her MoJo kit. Image supplied

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’s 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 region news reporting

Indigenous elders in Far North Queensland. Image supplied by AAP and Jono Searle.

AAP journalists 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 part of a series of fact-finding missions to remote parts of northern Australia as part of “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 enquiries about the program please email

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