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Philanthropists save Australia’s AAP newswire from closure

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SYDNEY: The Australian Related Press has been acquired by a consortium led by philanthropists, saving the newswire from closure on the 11th hour.

The deal was confirmed late Monday (Jun 29), three months after workers had been advised AAP would shutter as challenges within the media sector had been exacerbated by the financial fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

The investor consortium, which incorporates former Information Corp chief Peter Tonagh, advised workers in an e-mail they shared “a typical purpose – a want to guard media range in Australia”.

“We really feel the easiest way to do that is to make sure the long-term sustainability of the AAP Newswire and its provision of unbiased, high quality journalism on points that matter to all Australians,” they wrote.

“We consider that this has by no means been extra necessary to Australian society and had been involved concerning the impression that AAP’s closure would have had on unbiased journalism, on jobs and on the viability of latest entrants to the media area.”

In March, main shareholders Rupert Murdoch’s Information Corp and broadcasting and newspaper group 9 Leisure pulled out of the wire in a shock choice that fuelled fears of additional focus of Australia’s media.

However weeks later, a number of provides to purchase the enterprise put plans to shut the enterprise by Jun 26 on maintain.

The newswire will proceed to function underneath the AAP model, with Emma Cowdroy, at present the agency’s prime authorized adviser, stepping in as CEO and Andrew Drummond persevering with as editor.

Nevertheless, about half the 180 present jobs are anticipated to be misplaced, with the consortium saying it could run a smaller “sustainable” operation when the takeover is finalised on Jul 31.

The newswire will “deal with breaking information, politics, sport, main occasions and problems with public curiosity”, it added.

AAP’s rescue comes because the Australian media business struggles with dwindling revenues. Information Corp ceased printing greater than 100 regional and native newspapers Monday, blaming a collapse in promoting made worse by the coronavirus pandemic.

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