News for newsrooms.

LINA member update

Hi there!

We hope 2024 has started well for you. We’re particularly thinking of those in flood-affected areas at the moment and thank-you for your work in sharing essential information with your communities.

Our team at LINA has wasted no time over summer and we have much to report in the way of new services available to you, active policy discussions underway and a heads-up on activities on the horizon. We’ve bundled it all up below. Oh, and we’re re-ordered the content in the Members Area of our website to make things easier to find. If you haven’t visited lately, stop by.

Member Services to highlight

You probably saw last week’s email announcing LINA’s Micro-grant program to help newsrooms produce stories, series or collaborative projects that might need some extra resourcing (eg freelancer fees, photography, video editing, reports, travel). Applications are open now and are being considered on a first-come, first served basis. We’ve tried to keep the whole process as simple as possible. Read more and apply here.

The Google News Initiative has offered a tailored Fundamentals Lab program just for LINA members. It starts on 30th Jan and covers audience development, reader revenue and advertising revenue. Learn from your peers and from Google experts to guide you through the set-up of best practice ad sizing, landing pages, newsletter signups and more. Applications close this Friday. Read more and apply here.

We love seeing all the great journalism LINA members are producing and want to help your work be recognised by your peers, your community and the broader industry. Our Member Engagement Coordinator, Emma Marshall is available to help you put your work forward, or to do it for you (hey, we’re all busy and it’s sometimes awkward to nominate yourself right?). We want to amplify notable stories through our channels, and also support you to have them considered for relevant awards. Drop Emma a line to talk about your ideas, or alert us to a recognition opportunity that might not have crossed our desks yet.

LINA has been invited to join the Australian Press Council at a group membership rate.This would likely mean a significantly discounted rate for larger publishers within the LINA group, and free membership for emerging and/or small publishers. Members are invited to share your views on the idea, discuss how it might work and what’s involved on Wednesday 24th January. If you have not received a calendar invite with the link to join that meeting, contact Emma.


Keep an eye out for the following activities on the near horizon:

  • Registrations for the Summit 2024 in Port Douglas are open now, including two intensive pre-conference workshops to choose from on Tuesday 30th April. Headline information is available on our website now with the full program and salary subsidy information to be announced in the next month. Book your space and take advantage of some of the post-Christmas flight deals now! Oh, and we’ve set up a Slack channel for all things Summit, so you can organise meet-ups, find out where people are staying, recommend good coffee locations, follow up conversations – get chatting.
  • Keep an eye on your inbox for an invitation to apply for our Revenue Growth Program, starting in March. Get one-to-one support to experiment with a new revenue stream, or expand and existing service for your business. The 12-week program will cost $1,000, with LINA subsidising the remaining 75% of the program costs to ensure access to industry expertise. Expressions of interest will open in the coming weeks.
  • We’re preparing to launch a centralised sub-editing service and have a callout for subs to participate in the program out in the field at the moment. If there’s someone in your network who could be a great contributor to the sub pool, please send them Lily’s way.
  • Our Impact Tracking pilot group wrapped up their work with Impact Architects in December. Based on the learnings from that program, LINA is now ready to offer one-to-one support to set up your impact tracking framework and dashboard. You can book time with Zahra direct and/or get it all done in one day at the intensive session in Port Douglas. We’ll send an invitation with all the details via email next week.

IT’S ALIVE! Current policy discussions

LINA members may remember that the ACMA has been consulting on the development of a framework to measure news diversity in Australia and inform the NewsMAP as it rolls out over the coming years. The framework has been circulating in various iterations since 2020, with fits and starts during COVID. The most recent draft was circulated in March 2023. LINA submitted a response which broadly encouraged the ACMA to:

  • Take a broad view on the definition of news with a focus on editorial standards rather than income or definitions of hard/soft news;
  • Consider trust in news as an indicator of impact; 
  • Consider the diversity of perspectives being reported through local news, effectively who is telling the story? and
  • Be conscious of burdening newsrooms with data collection, surplus surveys etc. 

We did not have much success with this feedback unfortunately. After considering feedback from 24 organisations, the ACMA released its recommendations to government right at the end of the year, which narrow the scope of the measurement fairly considerably. While the draft framework had proposed measuring localism, this has now been broadened to ‘range’ and the ACMA is insisting on sticking to definitions of professional news services as those with an income over $150k (as per the Mandatory News Bargaining Code definition). Some things have been deemed too hard to address (localism) and feedback from other parties expressed concern about the government measuring standpoint diversity, suggesting this should be observed at arms length from the State. 

The Media Diversity Measurement Framework now consists of 6 key indicators, across three dimensions of diversity:

  • source – the extent to which media markets are populated by a diverse array of content providers
  • content – the extent to which content presents different voices, viewpoints and demographic profiles
  • exposure – the extent to which audiences consume diverse array of content. 

The indicators are: 

  • 1. Groups, owners & controllers
  • 2. Professional news outlets
  • 3. Professional news workforce
  • 4. Range and variety of news content
  • 5. News consumption
  • 6. Trust & impact

What does this all mean for you? The government is trying get a better handle on the media landscape – which could be really helpful in understanding changes to news services on all sides. The information collected will inform policy making moving forward, so it’s best to keep eyes on it and participate in research activities wherever possible (LINA’s on the case!) It’s likely some of the research work will be outsourced to PIJI and/or academia and will be relied upon for government decisions. Meanwhile, LINA will continue to advocate for emerging newsrooms to be represented in the data, so there’s a full picture of what’s happening in local news. 

It might be months before this work takes its next step forward. We’ll keep you updated if we hear anything further. 

LINA will make a pre-budget submission to the Treasury by the 25th January deadline (next week!) requesting funds toward both ‘LINA-led’ and ‘Industry-led’ activities, including:

  • the continuation of LINA’s activities and supports for newsrooms for the next three years;
  • funding for emergent (start-up) newsrooms;
  • funding for workforce development, including journalists; and
  • a media literacy program delivered by local news publishers.

These points were discussed at our shop-talk session on Tuesday, but if you missed it and want to talk it through, contact Claire.

LINA made a submission to the Productivity Commission in 2023 asking for a clear pathway to DGR status for public interest journalism. The Commission’s Draft Report, Future Foundations for Giving was released in December and does support the establishment of a DGR category for public interest journalism. The government is inviting feedback on the draft report by 6th February. LINA will make a submission encouraging the government to act quickly on the report recommendations to enable a dynamic not-for-profit news sector in Australia.

The Government published a consultation paper calling for input and ideas relating to the News Media Assistance Program (News MAP) in December. The paper focuses on key topics of access, quality, diversity and engagement, posing a range of questions that relate to each. LINA will make a submission that addressing the proposed principle-based approach and the importance of local news production in its responses. Submissions are due by 22nd February and members are welcome to make your own submissions too. If you would like to review LINA’s draft before it is submitted, please let Claire know.

We welcome your input and ideas and want to make sure we’re accurately representing the priorities and concerns affecting LINA members. You are invited to share any specific points you would like included in the policy submissions described above with Claire or Lily in the coming weeks.

New faces

At the end of 2023 we farewelled two members of the LINA team. Claire Albrecht has taken her Operations Manager skills over to Red Room Poetry, a sector near and dear to her heart and Julia Mendelawitz is reducing her role to special projects moving forward.

As such, we are welcoming to new champions to the team, both of whom bring a background in journalism and a flair for writing. Say hello to….

Nell O’Shea Carre, Communications Officer

Nell worked as a journalist before spending a few years as a Media Specialist at Medianet. She took time off to travel and has most recently completed an internship with UNHCR in External Relations. In her spare time, Nell makes humanitarian-focused documentaries and has been freelancing as a communications consultant too. Nell will be working to build awareness of your work from 22nd Jan.

Clare Hastings, Executive Support Officer

That’s right, another Clare. While we recognise that this is starting to get weird now, we really wanted to bring Clare’s skills into LINA. Clare studied journalism and took her career in the content marketing direction before realising that she’s actually really into systems and organisation. She quoted Vanilla Ice in her cover letter, so we had to bring her in. Clare starts at LINA on 2nd Feb.

Short stuff

Grant leads

Things we’re reading

Get the most from your LINA Membership

Take advantage of the following offers and opportunities anytime:

  • Get inspired by our list of potential revenue sources.
  • Brush up on Media Law with this self-paced refresher course.
  • Ask a question of your peers in the LINA Slack Channel
  • Renew your multimedia insurance at discount rates through KBI Group
  • Make a booking for direct tech support with our Chief Technical Officer, Kris Morris
  • WordPress users can save time on your newsletter process with Newsletter Glue. Use the code LINA30M at checkout to pay only $30 per month.
  • Working with a Board or Management Committee? We’ve added a Board Skills Matrix to our templates list to help guide your recruitment.
  • Find a template for your privacy policy, complaints handling policy, risk management processes, Social Media Terms of Use policy to your public spaces to adapt for your newsroom.
  • Pro bono pre-publication legal checks thanks to our partners at the ABC > submit a request anytime here.
  • Have you claimed your 12 month Canva Pro subscription yet? Use the LINAXCANVA code to redeem here.
  • VettNews offers LINA members a 25% discount on their complaint handling tool. Check it out here.
  • Check out handbooks on ChatGPT, setting up a subscription service, ad sizing and best practice placement, maximising engagement, understanding metadata, ensuring accessibility, tips for hiring a digital designer, guide to choosing a business structure and other tools and tips in the Members Area of the LINA website.
  • Want to collaborate with an ABC journalist on a big story you have brewing? Submit an expression of interest here anytime.
  • Catch up on recent shop-talk discussions, showcase discussions and takeaways from expert panelists.

Not sure where to start? Get started with our interactive Newsroom Essentials checklists for early, growing or mature news businesses.


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