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Media release —

331 community newspapers and magazines across Aotearoa will receive grants of more than $12,000 each to help them manage the financial impact of COVID-19, Anna Butler, Pou Mataaho o Te Aka Deputy Chief Executive, Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage said today.

The funding was allocated from $4 million of funds from the Government’s $50 million media support package. The publications grants were targeted at media organisations that have yet to receive significant relief from the fund – in particular magazines and community newspapers.

“These publications play a vital role in supporting local economies and provide information and entertainment to New Zealanders from all walks of life. We are pleased to be able to support a large number and wide range of magazines and community newspapers through the publications initiative,” Anna Butler said. 

“Community newspapers that will receive funding cover communities across the country, from Bluff to Cape Reinga, and from Auckland to the smallest rural towns. Magazines that will receive grants cover an immensely wide range of subject matter including business, lifestyle and information for diverse interest groups,” Anna Butler said. 

Payments to successful applicants will be made from mid-November. 

Manatū Taonga designed the publications initiative as one-off grant payment to get the funding the sector as quickly as possible and to give organisations flexibility to decide how to best to support the continued production of their publication. Therefore, all successful applicants will receive the same amount of funding.

“The publications grants will enable publications to use the funding in the way that suits them best, to ease financial pressure resulting from COVID-19. They may choose to use the funding to pay off loans, get back to regular production or adapt to the new post-COVID environment,” Anna Butler said.

The publications initiative is the last initiative in the Government’s $50 million media sector support package, which included a suite of initiatives that focused on supporting a range of media organisations by reducing cost and easing cashflow pressure.

After providing near term relief to help stabilise the media sector, further work will focus on funding, policy and legislative changes that address the core, longer term challenges facing media.