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Tech companies accused of ‘stealing’ as local newspapers cease publication

Article image for Tech companies accused of ‘stealing’ as local newspapers cease publication

Politicians from across the spectrum are describing the closure of regional newspapers as a tragedy for Australian journalism.

News Corp on Thursday announced, as a result of coronavirus’ financial impact on the business, nearly all local mastheads across the country will cease print publication and move to digital-only.

A further 19 small regional newspapers will be shuttered entirely.

“This is really tragic, particularly in rural and regional Australia,” shadow agriculture minister Joel Fitzgibbon told Deborah Knight.

“I’ve lost a dozen [newspapers] here in the Hunter Valley, and with them, of course, goes all the jobs.”

Mr Fitzgibbon says the death of local media is not a problem new to the COVID-19 pandemic, blaming multinational tech companies for stifling advertising revenue.

In a rare show of bipartisanship, Energy Minister Angus Taylor agreed, adamant the government is “coming down hard” on social media networks.

“I don’t have a physical newspaper left in my electorate, at the moment.

“Facebook and Google are stealing our local journalism, and that’s not good enough.”

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