Australian public broadcaster the ABC has launched a new digital initiative called ABC Open to feature user-generated content on existing ABC local websites.
The initiative aims to develop the digital skills of local communities to tell their own stories. The reports produced through the project will be published on the broadcaster's local websites and other sites, and may also be distributed on radio, television or mobile platforms.
More than 50 editors and producers, based in local radio offices around the country, will be charged with helping communities design and develop media-rich local stories.
The launch comes just after the ABC announced plans to launch a 24-hour television news channel.
The chief executive of major Australian news publisher Fairfax Media, Brian McCarthy, said that ABC Open could force some Fairfax-owned local newspapers to close.
ABC Open "threatens to undermine the viability of the excellent service commercial media organisations such as Fairfax Media and Rural Press have provided to regional and rural Australia for decades,'' he said. The Fairfax Media group owns Rural Press.
"I do not believe it is the role of the ABC to disrupt the commercial landscape by building empires with public funds."