A new national survey is looking at the needs of regional reporters to help future-proof local journalism.

The News and Media Research Centre at the University of Canberra are conducting the study. Project leader, Dr Caroline Fisher, says more needs to be done to protect journalism in regional and remote parts of the country.

“Local news is the heart of regional and rural communities. In some areas, it is thriving, but in others, it has declined.

“To help strengthen local news, we need to know more about what local reporters need to keep delivering to the communities they care about,” said Dr Fisher.

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The study, the first of its kind, aims to improve understanding of the issues facing regional/rural news media so that industry and policymakers can better support local journalism in the future.

The project is being rolled out in two phases – a national online survey of 2,200 regional journalists in Australia, followed by in-depth interviews with select journalists.