News Corp Australia’s successful Fair Go For The West campaign has returned this year, with The Daily Telegraph again partnering with Nova 96.9 and the Seven Network to lobby for new infrastructure and greater government spending in western Sydney.
This year’s campaign was launched on Monday with the theme “innovation”.
“Certainly the success of the first round of Fair Go For The West surprised even the most passionate supporters within News Corp,” the company’s NSW state director Brett Clegg said.
“It was quite big and bold and, by virtue of that, got a lot of coverage and interest,” Mr Clegg said.
News Corp Australia says the campaign spurred politicians into proceeding with the second Sydney airport at Badgerys Creek, and led to a number of infrastructure improvements in rail, road and sports facilities.
“There’s a lot of unfinished business in the campaign,” Mr Clegg said.
Fair Go For The West will run for 37 days and began with an editorial series highlighting ideas for the growth of western Sydney. Following that will be the Champions of the West phase, which awards grants of $10,000 in categories such as young entrepreneur, small business and classroom of the future.
The campaign will culminate in retro bus tour through the streets of western Sydney with celebrity ambassadors, reporters and photographers. There will be a breakfast for women in business, school visits, a small business hub and other events.
As with last year, it will also take in the nine NewsLocal papers that serve the region.
NewsLocal editor-in-chief Kathy Lipari said each title would use the Telegraph campaign as a springboard but would be able to delve into their own issues.
“Each masthead team will look at localising and digging deeper into each topic as it comes up,” Ms Lipari said.
Last year, she said, the NewsLocal papers drew good feedback from the campaign.
“There was a great appreciation of the recognition of western Sydney as the heart and lifeblood of the city,” she said.
The Seven Network and Nova 96.9 will share stories and other content with the News Corp Australia publications, with News journalists interviewed on the radio throughout the day.
“It’s a great case study of how traditional media can work together to deliver what is great content,” Mr Clegg said.
“You’ll see that step up another notch.”
Fair Go For The West will take on a special significance this year with the election approaching in March. Mr Clegg was keen to emphasise that the campaign is not meant to be political, and while the timing could be advantageous, there had been discussion over whether to delay it. However, the opportunity to win over leaders at a crucial time for policy announcements was too much to pass up.
“We’re deliberately making it a non-political campaign in that we have no agenda or desire to … favour one candidate,” he said.
“This is very much a celebratory, positive agenda that we’re driving.”
The Telegraph is also hosting one of the three state election debates in Liverpool next month.
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