AAP creates Go Fund Me with $500,000 target, asking readers to ‘help save Australian media diversity’

Australian Associated Press (AAP) has launched a $500,000 crowdfunding campaign in an attempt to “diversify our revenue base” and remain ahead of former owner News Corp’s newly-created newswire.

Now a not-for-profit owned by a consortium of investors after News Corp and Nine pulled their funding from the newswire, AAP said News Corp’s newly-launched competitor, the NCA newswire, is a “well-funded move [that] threatens AAP’s unique role, supplying independent content”.

“While the consequences of the first ever competition in the newswire market are uncertain, it will create further disruption to AAP, and in turn the media market more generally, at a time when the industry is on its knees,” said AAP’s new chief executive, Emma Cowdroy.

“Of course, crowdfunding will only ever be one part of our income but we are prepared to try many things to get us through this tumultuous time. We want to diversify our revenue base as much as possible so we have a sustainable future. When you support AAP, you help protect an essential building block of media diversity.”

The Go Fund Me page has so far raised $3,270 from 23 donors, and Cowdroy said both reader and government support in “these early weeks and months” of the resuscitated AAP are crucial to reach the much loftier goal of $500,000.

“For AAP to continue and thrive it needs ongoing customer revenue, it needs a fair share of the generous support the Commonwealth Government has offered other media companies, and, right now, it needs the help of thousands of Australians as well,” reads the #AAPneedsyou Go Fund Me.

The Go Fund Me page

Cowdroy added that “we were overwhelmed with offers of support and today we are giving people to the opportunity to assist” the business, especially since media owner clients of the newswire are struggling with the “toughest advertising market in modern history”.

“We operate in an era of unprecedented disruption, national emergency and consolidating media ownership,” the CEO said.

“Australians need AAP’s uncompromising focus on delivering facts fast more than ever. AAP plays a vital role in preserving Australia’s media diversity and is an essential piece of democratic infrastructure.

“We provide hundreds of stories and images every day to hundreds of trusted newspaper, website and radio outlets across Australia. AAP’s domestic content is also beamed to other media around the world.”

The consortium of impact investors, fronted by former News Corp executive Peter Tonagh, officially took over last month, ending 85 years of big media companies owning the Keith Murdoch-founded newswire.

“The costs of collecting, covering and distributing national news are high,” Cowdroy noted.

“That’s why Sir Keith Murdoch and John Fairfax put their rivalries aside to build AAP in 1935, and the economic logic remains the same.”


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.