Emma Bones, JNI

Judith Neilson Institute backs hyperlocal news

Emma Bones is Manager, Special Projects for the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas (JNI), one of the supporting organisations involved in establishing the Local and Independent News Association (LINA) – representing hyperlocal publishers. JNI’s mission is to support and celebrate quality journalism and storytelling in Australia and around the world. Their funding and education program is designed to equip journalists with the resources they need to produce outstanding work – and is why they’re backing LINA.

In recent years, the closure of many traditional local media outlets has meant that important community issues are going unreported, but this has spurred some communities to find new ways to source and create credible, independent news, including through new media enterprises. These new enterprises need support because of the struggles and threats facing journalism today. Equally, Emma says, are huge opportunities for the new publishers and LINA will provide the place to share ideas, experience, and support.  

Emma is optimistic about LINA. She, like the other board members, sees many similarities between hyperlocal publishers and community media organisations, which is why partner organisation, the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA), will incubate the new association during a three-year pilot. The experiences and business models of these news organisations mirror those of community radio stations. LINA will be a place brimming with resources to help young regional media organisations find their feet.

Local media is a critical element of the media landscape. Hyperlocal news organisations provide news and information specific to their communities and tell the stories that matter locally. Emma and JNI are committed to supporting local news organisations in a structured way to ensure a diverse and balanced media landscape in Australia.

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