PrintNZ scores $4m for community press

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Lobbying from employers’ organisation PrintNZ and other associations has resulted in the government providing $4m in emergency funding for hard pressed community newspapers and magazines.

Concerned: Ruth Cobb, general manager PrintNZ. 
Delighted: Ruth Cobb, general manager PrintNZ.

Ruth Cobb, CEO of PrintNZ said: “In very exciting news we are delighted to have been successful in gaining a share of the $50m media relief fund for the publications that were affected by Covid, particularly during Lockdown Level 4.”

The release of the $4m came after PrintNZ joined forces with the Community Newspapers Association and Magazine Publishers Association to present the case.

Funds will be available to magazines and newspapers in the form of one-off grants, with applications taken between now and next Friday, 9 October. Once all applications are in the $4m will be divided equally.

“We are pleased to announce that we will be making $4m of funding available to magazines and community newspapers in the coming weeks,” Manatū Taonga (Ministry for Culture and Heritage) programme director Jeff Gibson said.

The focus of all initiatives in the media sector support package is to reduce cost and ease the pressure on short term cashflow. Many magazines and community newspapers suffered decline in advertising revenue –in particular through the Covid-19 Alert 4 period.

“The relief announced today will enable successful applicants to use the funding in the way that suits them best, to ease financial pressure resulting from Covid-19,” Gibson said.

“Thank you to the Magazine Publishers Association, Community Newspapers Association and PrintNZ for the information they provided to help us design this support package.”

Under Stage 4 lockdown in New Zealand all non-essential print, which included almost all magazines and newspapers, was banned. The country's biggest publisher Bauer closed its business as a result. It has now been sold to Mercury Capital, which owns BlueStar Web, Bauer's main printer. Bauer has now been renamed Are Media.

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