Australian newswire AAP launches survival crowdfunding campaign

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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 public to help it “maintain the supply of independent news to hundreds of outlets’’.

Last month, 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 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 generous support the Commonwealth Government has offered other media companies’’.

“And, right now, it needs help of thousands of Australians as well,’’ the campaign page states.

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,’’ media organisation’s CEO, Emma Cowdroy, said in a statement.

AAP added that its media customers are struggling in “ toughest advertising market in modern history’’.

“Of course, crowdfunding will only ever be part of our income but we are prepared to try many things to get 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.