Soon New Matilda will be asking subscribers directly for feedback on content, various features on the site, and suggestions for future directions.
Nick Evers comments below are a good starting point for this and we encourage others to give us their views and opinions here. Do you agree with Nick? Who would you like to hear from and what are some of the issues that are missing?
Nick Evers wrote:
As a retiree who lives in rural Australia I would like to offer a view in the recent debate on the content and direction of New Matilda.
First, I applaud the initiative to establish New Matilda and I applaud the quality of much of the content, without necessarily always agreeing with the opinions canvassed but that is inevitable and as it should be. It is an important new forum for debate. Having said that I think it is developing a certain sameness, a lack of range and robustness. Perhaps inevitably, it has a strong whiff of comfortable, educated, articulate, metropolitan people talking to each other over their daily latte. A whiff too of the usual suspects engaging in navel gazing on important but hackneyed topics.
If you truly want to give NM more substance then I think it would be helpful were you, in each issue, to have an invited columnist who would address a particular issue that can then be discussed by subscribers and others. I don’t much care who the columnists may be provided they are people of substance with sufficient expertise and/or experience in a particular field to generate a healthy debate. For them to be provocative would be a bonus. It may include a unionist, a communist from yesteryear, a business leader(Michael Chaney? David Murray?), Noel Pearson, George Pell, Les Murray, Gideon Haigh, Tim Winton, Robert Manne, Paddy McGuinness, Richard Flanagan, academics, medicos, engineers, farmers, military personnel, teachers, writers…as long as they can put a view on a matter of some relevance to who we are and where we are going as a nation, as it relates to their particular expertise and view of the world.
As for the issues, I think there are many that merit more exposure in a forum like New Matilda. As examples, I would mention immigration policy; the drug problem; aboriginal issues; the federal system as it presently operates; the Australian public services – quality/integrity/problems; crime in Australia; the plight of the lonely and impecunious elderly; the Australian sporting ethic; taxation policy; multilateralism as against bilateralism in our trade policy; the public infrastructure challenge and the matter of privatisation of public assets; the abortion, IVF and related issues; the future and shape of unionism; water “ a massive national problem; Australian journalism; Australian theatre; Australian prison systems; education; the media; the farm sector – challenges, problems etc; the ABC; and so much more. A few of these issues have been canvassed in NM but most haven’t and none in the slightly more structured way I suggest above.
I may well have it all wrong, in which event many will doubtless rush to tell me so. However, I do think that for all the positive features of NM it runs the risk of going off the boil. For my part, it needs more vigour, more variety and for that you need new issues and new contributors.
I wish you well because I would like to see NM to succeed and endure.
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