The Facebook news ban in Australia has seen Bundaberg Now blocked from posting on the social media platform and users are unable to share links.
ABC Wide Bay, NewsMail, Bundaberg Today, Seven News and Nine News have also been blocked.
Bundaberg Now has 29,872 followers on Facebook.
Facebook is engaged in a dispute with the Australian Government over a mandatory news bargaining code, which requires Google and Facebook to pay media companies for sharing news extracts and links.
As a Council-owned non-commercial service, Bundaberg Now would not receive any payments under the code.
Since the Facebook news ban we've introduced a Daily Digest to our 20,000 email subscribers.
Subscribe here for Bundaberg Now daily updates. Users may unsubscribe at any time.
Mayor says Facebook action ‘reprehensible'
Bundaberg Region Mayor Jack Dempsey says the Facebook news ban in Australia highlights the importance of local independent journalism.
“I’ve been concerned for several years that community news reporting has suffered because of the changing media landscape, where big digital businesses have eroded the advertising revenue of traditional publishers and broadcasters,” Mayor Dempsey wrote on Facebook.
“We’ve seen a drift in advertising jobs online to Seek, classifieds to Gumtree, property to realestate.com.au, etc.
“Meanwhile, news consumers have also shifted online to Facebook, Twitter and search engines.”
Mayor Dempsey said he has concerns about the Government's mandatory news bargaining code and how it could inadvertently cause unintended negative consequences for small publishers.
“However, Facebook’s action this week was reprehensible. Facebook has become an essential service and like any essential service it should accept a level of regulation and responsibility,” he said.
“Shutting off access to vital information is not how an ethical business operates.
“One way to fight back is by supporting local, independent journalism. Organisations like the ABC and businesses like Bundaberg Today, Bundy Broadcasters, NewsMail and Triple M are critical to keeping our community informed.
“If Facebook continues to act like a spoilt child, I’m sure we’ll see communities and consumers change their habits and connect more strongly with trusted local sources of information.”
Until the dispute is resolved, people wanting to stay up-to-date with local news are encouraged to visit websites directly and subscribe for email alerts.
Bundaberg Now links
- Visit the Bundaberg Now website directly several times a day
- Subscribe to our Daily Digest email newsletter
- Read our Weekender digital magazine every Saturday
- Listen to our weekly podcast
- Watch nightly news on our YouTube channel
- Google/Android mobile app
- Apple app for iPhone and iPad