As media reforms hit the national agenda, new polling commissioned by The Australia Institute shows a majority (58%) of Tasmanians support additional funding for the ABC to invest in more regional news services, while 22% oppose and 21% are undecided.
The poll of 1139 Tasmanians, conducted by ReachTEL on 12th January, shows that half (50%) of Coalition voters support additional funding for ABC regional news services.
“With media reform now on the table, protecting local regional news is more important than ever,” Deputy Director of The Australia Institute, Ebony Bennett said.
“The reality is that commercial media has no intention of expanding operations in regional Australia. Ensuring the ABC has dedicated new funds is one way to protect the services regional communities rely on.
“Targeted funding for ABC regional news services is popular across Tasmania. Half of Coalition voters support it and it is even more popular among Labor and Green voters.
“The public wants more regional news, and as taxpayers they’re willing to pay for it,” said Ms Bennett.
The Australia Institute’s report Heartland, showed that a third of regional areas do not meet the minimum requirements for media diversity under the Broadcasting Services Act and found strong public support for increasing funding of the ABC to improve regional services, including among Australians who live in the city.