Today, we’re loading up the third anniversary issue of NewMatilda.com.
The first NewMatilda.com sailed into cyberspace 155 issues ago, on Wednesday 25 August 2004 in the lead up to a Federal election that pitted a relatively new and popular Labor leader against John Howard’s entrenched Coalition. Plus ça change.
This time around, however, there seems to be more panic on the Government side and a certain quiet calm (or is that boring, cynical inaction?) emanating from the ALP, despite flashbacks to drunken, hazy nights in Manhattan fleshpots.
Establishing a new media voice was a brave move three years ago. It has added significance today as the global concentration of media ownership continues apace and Big Media moguls start looking to colonise the online environment. Established media conglomerates will not give up their market dominance without a fight and that will mean increasing appropriation of the techniques, approaches and even attitudes of the currently ‘rebellious’ and uncontrolled blogosphere.
That shift presents NewMatilda.com with new opportunities to get under the skin of stories, to take a step back and create clarity amid the bite-sized noise of the Internet.
Hard-copy newspapers may not be dead, but they are certainly not the future of news media. On Sunday 26 August (between 3:00 and 4:00 pm at the Beckett Theatre), NewMatilda.com is sponsoring a panel at the Melbourne Writers Festival entitled, ‘This Just in From Cyberspace‘ which will explore how the new online media are changing the reporting of politics, current affairs and social issues.
Sure, bloggers are growing in confidence, depth and readership; and, yes, there are real ways in which ‘citizen media’ is affecting journalism as-we-knew-it. But what NewMatilda.com is adding to this heady cocktail is a measure of sophistication and critical intelligence.
NewMatilda.com is proud of being an independent media voice at a time when spin, compromise and ‘commercial pressures’ rule. These days, NewMatilda.com appears in over 5000 email in-trays. We have changed considerably since 2004: the policy portal has become the independent Centre for Policy Development, and we now load up new stories daily. Since the beginning of 2007, we have been laying the groundwork for a new look website which will be revealed later this year.
New functionality and a more dynamic and responsive interface will allow us to connect more directly with contributors and readers alike. More marketing and promotion will raise our profile, both here and overseas, beyond our current supporters. But the essence of what NewMatilda.com delivers will remain the same — serious analysis and commentary about news stories from perspectives that mainstream media ignore or dismiss.
In its next incarnation, NewMatilda.com will continue to offer our readers a sophisticated and thoughtful alternative to the spin, froth and buzz that dominates the modern mediascape.
I take this opportunity to thank our long-term supporters and to invite all our readers to stay tuned as the next phase of NewMatilda.com‘s history unfolds.
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