Our News. Your Voice. How you can support local, independent news.

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Mass content syndication, prolific AI-fuelled misinformation and disinformation, and rushed reporting lacking nuance and diverse representation.

These are some of the challenges all of us in the Australian public must contend with when it comes to accessing important news.

But in the midst of this media crisis, local and independent media organisations are standing tall to provide quality, accessible, verified and locally relevant news.

The green shoots of an industry in transition, many of these publications emerged from news deserts to provide critical information to their communities during the global pandemic or in times of environmental disaster, important elections, or in the context of rising cost-of-living, when accountability from leaders and big economic players is more important than ever.

As award-winning journalist Alan Sunderland puts it in his book Ten Rules of Reporting; when it comes to local and independent community-based journalism, “a quiet revolution is underway”.

That is why this week we are joining a national movement of local and independent newsrooms calling on our communities to get behind us. As a member of the Local and Independent News Association (LINA), we have today launched our landmark ‘Our News. Your Voice’ fundraising campaign.

While this is an Australia-wide pledge drive, the Western Weekender will receive every dollar donated through the links on our website.

This means everything invested by the community of Penrith will be sent directly back into reporting the important news of our area.

Not only this, but funds raised will be matched by philanthropic supporters, doubling individual contributions.

For one week only, we hope you will spare some loose change and support us to deliver essential news that not only keeps you informed, but connects all of us in Penrith to one another.

To donate and pledge, visit https://westernweekender.presspatron.com.

Troy Dodds

Troy Dodds is the Weekender's Managing Editor and Breaking News Reporter. He has more than 20 years experience as a journalist, working with some of Australia's leading media organisations. In 2023, he was named Editor of the Year at the Mumbrella Publish Awards.

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