Community value of public interest journalism: October 2020

Local news Journalism Public interest Community engagement News media Mass media Australia

This is a report of results of a survey commissioned by the Public Interest Journalism Initiative from Essential Media.

Essential Media conduct a fortnightly omnibus survey, in which five questions relating to public interest journalism were included. This survey was conducted from 28 October - 1 November, 2020, and had 1,063 respondents (95% certainty for random sampling).

Key findings:

  • Australians' use of all kinds of news media grew through 2020.
  • The majority of Australians (78%) hold public interest journalism as important or very important, but this is down from 86% in October 2019.
  • The majority of Australians feel that the amount of coverage of each level of government is about right, though a significant minority (29%) see local government and community affairs as deserving of more focus.
  • Public willingness to pay additional tax in support of more public interest journalism remained high. 44% of Australians would pay at least an additional $2.40 per year and 34% would pay an additional $12.
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