Dear New Matilda reader,
The role of media in Australia, at its core, is to hold a mirror to our society. Based on mainstream reporting over recent weeks you would think we live in the twilight zone, where fear and loathing trumps calm debate and reason.
As you are no doubt aware, the media outlets currently beating the drums of war and whipping the country into a frenzy of fear and paranoia are the same media outlets who urged us to go into Iraq a decade ago. Old habits apparently die hard.
At New Matilda, as you might expect, we have quite a different view.
This week, we put out a special edition of the New Matilda digest – our ‘#calmthef**kdownteamaustralia edition’ tried to bring some context (and reason!) to the debate around war in Iraq, and on our own soil.
We hope that our coverage is enough to convince you to subscribe to New Matilda today (if you’re not already), and help us continue to provide balance and context to an important national debate.
We’ve brought you substantial reporting around the government’s latest incarnation of ‘be alert not alarmed’… which actually looks more like ‘Be alarmed… be very, very alarmed!’
We broke the story about cuts to the Iraqi aid budget earlier this year (we’re now sending in half a billion dollars in ‘aid’ via Super Hornets and troops, after cutting genuine development aid to Iraq to zero in the May budget).
We brought you the story of Independent MP Andrew Wilkie, and his reflections on the slaughter of Shia Muslims in the Middle East in 2013, a fact which drew no panicked reaction from government at the time.
We’ve exposed the bat-shit crazy nonsense coming out of the office of Palmer United Senator Jacqui Lambie, including a yarn this week which introduced you to the ‘brains’ behind Lambie’s recent assault on Islam.
Our coverage of the ‘War on Reason and Common Sense’ will obviously continue, but at New Matilda, we’re also determined to not be distracted about important happenings on the home front.
That’s why in the last few weeks, we’ve also broken major stories around asylum seekers, mining, climate change, Aboriginal affairs and higher education.
Last week, New Matilda broke the story of a phantom environmentalist sitting on Whitehaven Coal’s environmental oversight committee, charged with ensuring the protection of iconic woodlands in the north west of NSW.
We’ve also asked questions about why Prime Minister Tony Abbott was absent from a United Nations summit on climate change. If there’s any war that needs to be declared, it’s a War on Carbon. In stark contrast to our War on Muslims, it’s likely to actually improve the lives of Australians.
We’ve continued to pursue the government over the death of asylum seeker Hamid Kehazaei and our coverage of the Whitehouse scholarship saga, and the prosecution of whistleblower Freya Newman, continue unabated. We’ll obviously have a bit more to say on this issue after October, when Ms Newman’s legal proceedings are expected to be completed.
Our reporting around Higher Education reforms continues, and as you read this, New Matilda editor Chris Graham is in Central Australia, researching the water crisis that has gripped the remote community of Utopia, and the Alice Springs town camp of Whitegate.
In short, we see our job as giving context to the stories around ‘terror’, while not losing sight of the issues the government hopes you’ll forget about… by launching a war on terror.
In order to do this, we need your help, and we hope that you’ll consider subscribing to New Matilda today (again, assuming you’re not already!)
We’ve also got some exciting news about our own operations.
New Matilda recently took on Amy McQuire, our first Aboriginal journalist. This week, we’ve also taken on Chris Munro, another accomplished Aboriginal journalist.
Chris is a proud Kamilaroi man. His family hails from the Caroona mission, and he’s had a successful career in the media for more than a decade, having worked for the National Indigenous Times, National Indigenous Television, and as the Managing Editor of Tracker magazine.
Chris Munro is a skilled video journalist. His role at New Matilda, apart from filing stories on general news, will be to complete video projects (more about that in the coming months).
We like to think that Chris’ arrival at New Matilda takes our team to new heights. Our team now consists of Chris and Amy, Chris Graham, Wendy Bacon, Max Chalmers, Ben Eltham, and regular contributors including Ian McAuley, Michael Brull, Fiona Katauskas, Lindsay Foyle and Costa A. A pretty eclectic and talented bunch, if we do say so ourselves.
We’ve also opened shiny news offices in Redfern. We’re at Suite 2, 134-138 Redfern Street, Redfern (directly across the road from the mighty Aboriginal Medical Service). You’re welcome to drop in for an instant coffee, a stale biscuit and a chat anytime you’re in the neighbourhood.
We’ve also got some exciting announcements coming up about expansions to the New Matilda website.
In the meantime, we hope that you can support our work by subscribing here. And we make you one solemn promise: as the fear factor gets ramped up, New Matilda will continue to provide you alternative perspectives, calm, reasoned debate, and a news service that isn’t modeled on the ‘Chicken Little sky is falling in’ approach to journalism.
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