Media response - Onkaparinga Now

Published on 22 January 2021

Response to Reuters.

As discussed on the phone, I was wondering if you might be able to give a brief rundown of Onkaparinga Now? I’m writing a story about Australian councils filling the gap left by the exit of traditional media by starting their own news websites.

  • When did Onkaparinga council launch Onkaparinga Now? Why did it launch it?
  • Has Onkaparinga Now applied for “news source” status with Google or “News & Media Website” status with Facebook?
  • Is Onkaparinga council concerned about increased competition for Onkaparinga Now if the Federal government’s News Media Bargaining Code results in subsidies for independent media outlets to produce content in the local government area?

RESPONSE

When did Onkaparinga council launch Onkaparinga Now?

October 2018, replacing our previous magazine which was delivered quarterly as a 12-page insert in the local Southern Times Messenger newspaper.

Why did it launch it?

The council sought to deliver a more cost-effective product and respond to broader media and communications trends showing a dramatic move away from print media in recent years.

As a result the magazine was launched primarily as a regularly updated online publication supported by a small quantity of quarterly printed editions available at council offices, libraries and centres.

Has Onkaparinga Now applied for “news source” status with Google or “News & Media Website” status with Facebook?

No.

Is Onkaparinga council concerned about increased competition for Onkaparinga Now if the Federal government’s News Media Bargaining Code results in subsidies for independent media outlets to produce content in the local government area?

We have not pursued status as a news source so we don’t have a formal position on this.

We're simply committed to sharing information about council and the community via Onkaparinga Now as another way to keep our residents informed.

Much of the feedback we’ve received from our readers has been that they greatly appreciate having access to positive news about what is happening in their local area.

Our subscriber base has been steadily growing since launch and is about to hit 3000 people, and our website page views and social media engagement has exceeded expectations.

ENDS