News / Media

New fund aims to support local media

Tax-free donations can be made before the end of the financial year

Mark Phillips

A NEW tax-deductible fund has been established to support local journalism initiatives in Melbourne’s inner north.

Donations can now be made to the Northside Media Fund, which is managed by the Inner North Community Foundation, a philanthropic organisation that has distributed more than $5 million since 2007 towards community-building projects in the cities of Merri-bek, Darebin and Yarra.

Foundation executive officer Ben Rodgers said donations to the fund would be used to support public interest journalism in the northern suburbs.

He said the foundation had identified the decline of local media over the past few years as a serious issue that needed to be addressed.

“Without access to local and independent news outlets, important developments and issues go unreported, corporate and government accountability declines, and shared understandings of what is happening in our streets, neighbourhoods and community is disappearing,” Mr Rodgers said.

“But there is a path forward of community-owned, not-for-profit media that delivers journalism as a public service, and our foundation wants to support projects that can revive local news.”

Foundation director Craig Kenny said Brunswick Voice was an example of the type of initiative that could eventually receive financial support from the Northside Media Fund.

“Since its establishment as a volunteer-led publication in 2021, Brunswick Voice has had a positive impact on its community. There are other interesting projects emerging and it would be great to see more of these types of hyperlocal online news services take off over the next few years,” he said.

“But quality independent public interest journalism costs money. The Northside Media Fund will seek to pool donations that can be used to underpin the development of new local media outlets.”

Donations over $2 to the Northside Media Fund are tax-deductible.

Mr Kenny said a small group of a small group of community members from a range of backgrounds in the inner north are currently working on a plan a plan to guide the establishment of a not-for-profit organisation that will support the creation and publication of independent local news.

To make a donation, visit the Inner North Community Foundation here.

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