Damn, it's Hot in Here


It’s been a while since we touched base with you, loyal readers. A lot has been going on behind the scenes here in the newmatilda.com Day Spa: new staff members, new features on the site, and Australia’s very first online political cartooning competition!

But first up, it is with heavy hearts that we say a sad goodbye to two staff members. Associate Editor Rachel Hills has left us for greener headlines at NineMSN, and Business Manager, Sallie "Mae" Don, will soon be taking up residence across the road at News Ltd. We look forward to throwing spitwads at her during fire drills.

With all sad goodbyes comes welcome fresh blood. This week we welcome on board our new Associate Editor Brendan Phelan, who we poached all the way from the Pilbara News; and Catriona Menzies-Pike, who will also be working with us as Associate Editor on a part-time basis.

(We’re also on the lookout for a smart and savvy Marketing Co-ordinator, applications close tomorrow, more info can be found here.)

We (and our tech gurus over at Digital Eskimo) have been very busy since we launched the new website in January. As some of you may have noticed, we were experiencing some technical problems, not least of which was a dicky search engine. We’ve recently done a major update of the site to iron out bugs and initiate a number of tweaks to the system.

The astute among you will have noticed that we have killed the poll. We decided it was a waste of prime real estate on the home page, and have replaced it with three exciting new regular features:

A newsfeed, bringing you all the latest headlines from Al Jazeera English.

Blogwatch: we trawl the blogosphere for all the most interesting off-the-radar info on the week’s hot topic and present it to you in one easy-to-read wrap up.

And, back by popular demand: the Down to Earth Starguide for skeptics and cynics. Sick of the content-free gibberish of weekend newspaper astrology columns? newmatilda.com‘s resident Oracle (aka Jen "Jen" Mills) writes: "We were almost famous last year and then went bankrupt. But thanks to the marvellous support of newmatilda.com, DTE has returned from the shredder, claws sharpened and eyes on the night sky."

Check out your weekly forecast here on Monday mornings.

Last but by no means least, this week also marks the launch of the newmatilda.com Prize for Political Cartooning. Over $9,500 in prize money is on offer to the most creative, funny and talented political cartoonists in Australia and New Zealand.

This is the first competition of its kind, offering the largest prize pool for political cartooning in Australia. Voting is now open and will put you in the draw to win heaps of free tickets, books and other prizes. Check out the latest heat and cast your vote here.

As always, we look forward to your feedback.

The newmatilda.com team

Launched in 2004, New Matilda is one of Australia's oldest online independent publications. It's focus is on investigative journalism and analysis, with occasional smart arsery thrown in for reasons of sanity. New Matilda is owned and edited by Walkley Award and Human Rights Award winning journalist Chris Graham.