Sydney – Australia’s 85-year-old national news agency, Australian Associated Press (AAP), has launched a crowdfunding campaign to keep it afloat.
It is urging the public to help it “maintain the supply of independent news to hundreds of outlets’’.
Last month, the newswire was saved by philanthropists and impact investors and moved to a non-for-profit model after its previous owners, NewsCorp and Nine Entertainment, in March announced plans to shut it down.
“For the sake of democracy, support quality journalism #aapneedsyou,’’ AAP posted on Twitter on Monday as it kicked off a social media push for the campaign.
AAP has been halved to a team of around 85, and despite investors stepping in to keep it alive, “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,’’ the campaign page states.
The campaign goal has been set at 500,000 Australian dollars ($364,000).
“We have launched a crowdfunding campaign so that all Australians can help AAP deliver its commitment to media diversity,’’ the media organisation’s CEO, Emma Cowdroy, said in a statement.
AAP added that its media customers are struggling in “the toughest advertising market in modern history’’.
“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.’’
AAP was started in 1935 by newspaper publisher, Keith Murdoch, father of News Corp founder Rupert Murdoch.