Today that the NSW Government announced that it will “double the proportion of mandatory advertising spend for government departments to better communicate with diverse communities.”

According to the announcement all major campaigns coordinated by NSW government departments will be required to increase the minimum multicultural advertising spend from 7.5 per cent to 15 per cent.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said this commitment by the NSW Liberals and Nationals is about recognising the importance of multicultural media outlets in keeping diverse communities connected and informed.

“Each outlet speaks directly to their respective communities and plays an integral role in informing them, which we saw clearly during the crises of the past few years,” Mr Perrottet said.

“This is especially the case for making sure that people with limited English proficiency can understand and engage with the key government messages, especially regarding access to government services.”

Fotis Kapetopoulos secretary of Independent Multicultural Media Australia (IMMA) said that the independent multicultural media sector welcomes the announcement.

“IMMA welcome the Perrottet government’s announcement and acknowledge that the Minister for Multiculturalism Mark Coure has been active in developing a dialogue with IMMA and has opened the conversation with key NSW government departments.”

He said that IMMA was formed to advocate for effective government communications and for the advertising allocation “set by all governments for independent multicultural media to be spent on independent multicultural media.”

“Independent multicultural media were essential in the drive to communicate Covid Safe behaviours in 2020 and 2021.”

Kapetopoulos who welcomed the announcement also said that “IMMA are disappointed that no funding was made available for sustainability and digital transformation as was the case for regional and mainstream media.”

“Huge funding has been allocated to regional and mainstream media over the years, and governments spent big on mainstream campaigns and big tech platforms during COVID, without prioritising independent multicultural media.”

“Often at great detriment to multicultural communities, and the wider Australian community,” Kapetopoulos said.

Wendy Huang the publisher of the Chinese Herald said that independent multicultural media is crucial to the “the whole media ecology.”

“Many of us are family businesses, that employ professional and emerging journalists and our role is essential in a democratic society.”

The NSW government’s commitment builds upon the ongoing review into the multicultural advertising policy, which will give greater consideration to departments advertising with independent multicultural media outlets in all campaigns.

NSW departments will now be required to regularly report on their advertising spends, so the government can review and continuously improve how we communicate and engage with communities.

NSW minister for multiculturalism Mark Coure said it was important departments are working with these outlets to ensure that our communities are as well informed as possible as NSW continues to grow and become more diverse.

“A strong multicultural media industry means we have well-informed and engaged diverse communities,” Mr Coure told Neos Kosmos.

Kapetopoulos, the secretary of IMMA said “Independent multicultural media are not just media outlets, rather we are institutions, we are trusted and valued as a voice of and for our communities.”