Today we've joined dozens of other local newspapers across NSW to put two crucial questions on the front page. They are questions this masthead is asking on behalf of our loyal readers and the communities who trust us to keep them informed, connected and strong. We're asking these questions of Premier Dominic Perrottet and Labor leader Chris Minns, the politicians vying to be elected our state's next premier on March 25. The questions are pretty straightforward. To help protect the future of local news across NSW, will you: These are perilous times for the newspapers that have served NSW towns, cities and regions for, in some cases, more than 150 years. Higher prices for newsprint, rising costs of production and distribution and cut-throat competition for ad revenue from foreign-owned digital giants have pushed many long-standing papers to breaking point. The NSW newspapers of the ACM network - Australia's largest publisher of regional news and the owner of this website - are not asking for grants or handouts. Instead, we're asking Mr Perrottet and Mr Minns to show they care about the future of regional newspapers and the communities we serve by committing to measures that get state government and local councils supporting trusted local news sources through advertising. We're calling it the Dan Andrews pledge. At the Victorian election in November, Premier Dan Andrews promised that his Labor government would guarantee one full page of government advertising in every regional newspaper every week. Mr Andrews said he was "backing regional media outlets with guaranteed advertising revenue so they can keep supporting their local communities". "Whether it's a bushfire, a flood emergency or a global pandemic, time and time again we have seen regional newspapers step up and serve their communities in incredibly important ways," he said. Since Mr Andrews was comfortably re-elected the Victorian government's weekly advertisements have been taking information about essential public services and new taxpayer-funded programs to regional communities all over that state. Those ads are, in turn, helping to pay the wages of the local journalists, photographers and editors asking questions on behalf of the voters, ratepayers and taxpayers of their town and region. So, here's our question for Mr Perrottet and Mr Minns: If Victorian Premier Dan Andrews can guarantee weekly state government advertising in local newspapers to support trusted news sources and local jobs, what about you? What about it, Dom and Chris? Will you make the Dan Andrews pledge?