Following the passing of the Mandatory News Media Bargaining Code in Federal Parliament yesterday, South Australian publisher of InDaily, Solstice Media, has signed a letter of intent with Facebook to pay for its public interest journalism.
Solstice is one of the first independent news publishers to sign an agreement with Facebook and follows a similar deal between the publisher and Google.
It is the only South Australian-owned news publisher to enter into such an arrangement with the global platforms.
“This is a huge win for South Australian independent journalism as our content will be paid for and promoted worldwide,” said Solstice managing director Paul Hamra.
“It is also a win for the smaller publishers who now have a new way of funding important journalism.
“For the state, it means we are attracting global media investment into South Australia – on our own, without any government assistance.
“That will increase our reporting and editorial resources in South Australia – a state where there has been a lot of journalism cuts and redundancies by the dominant player, News Corp, over the past year.”
In the past year News Corp, which is headquartered in the US, made a decision to close its printed community Messenger newspapers, withdrew its funding from the AAP newswire and made a number of journalists, sub-editors and photographers redundant.
“Today there is a little bit of sunshine for local journalism,” Hamra said.
He added that the deal, as with the Google negotiations, would have no impact on the fierce independence of InDaily’s journalism.
Facebook also announced overnight that letters of intent have been signed with Australian independent news organisations Private Media, publisher of Crikey, and Schwartz Media, publisher of The Saturday Paper.
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