Help Us ‘Reclaim Australia’, One Explosive Investigative Feature Story At A Time

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In the next few weeks, New Matilda will be launching a major fundraising effort to try and secure the future of our small, independent media site.

As part of that effort, every Monday in the month of May, we’ll be breaking a major investigative feature story.

The stories – all of which have been under investigation for months, and one of which we’ve been pursuing for more than a year – relate to Australian politics, racism, and corruption.

So why are we waiting until May? We’re trying to show our loyal support base what is possible if New Matilda is properly resourced.

Our goal is also simple: in order to resource New Matilda properly, we need to lift our paid subscriber base to 10,000 (it currently sits at a very modest 1,500).

10,000 paid subscribers will buy a lot of independent media, and an awful lot of investigative journalism. But we can’t do it without your help, so we’re hoping you’ll consider subscribing now, to help us reach our goal.

It may sound ambitious, but since we launched the ‘new’ New Matilda in May last year, almost 2.2 million people have visited our site, with more than 6.3 million page views (an increase of more than 200 percent in traffic).

If less than half of one percent of those visitors bought a subscription to New Matilda, we’d have our 10,000 subscribers.

And here’s what we can (and will) do if we can meet our goal of 10,000 paid subscribers by the end of May.

1. Pay our small but growing staff fairly, with above award wages. Currently, only two of our reporters are paid above the award. Our site runs on the sniff of an oily rag, and most of us either work for no wages, or small, contracted wages.

2. Hire more staff, to bring you more independent journalism. This will include an Aboriginal video journalist (to produce some stunning video journalism, which will be added to a new feature on the a soon-to-be re-developed NM site, called ‘New Matilda TV’).

3. Launch a paid internship program for university students. Unlike other media outlets, we don’t believe in using interns as unpaid labour.

4. Pay contributors a fair sum for their work – we currently pay some contributors a small fee for their work, but most do it for the love of independent media.

5. Revamp the entire New Matilda website, with some bells and whistles ONLY for paid New Matilda subscribers.

6. Employ a web developer to keep the bugs at bay, and develop the site further so that New Matilda is not only providing ground-breaking journalism, but is also a leader in the delivery of online news.

7. And last but not least, bring you major investigations every month, as opposed to one every few months.

So that’s our first goal. Our second is even more ambitious – to reach a target of 20,000 subscribers. And here’s what we’ll do if we achieve that.

1. All of the above.

2. We’ll no longer accept corporate and government advertising.

3. Instead, we’ll open our advertising FREE to not-for-profit organisations which share our values and aspirations (Aboriginal organisations, human rights bodies, asylum seeker advocacy groups, environmental activist groups, unions and, small web-based start ups etc).

Imagine that – a news organisation which does not accept corporate and government advertising, and instead provides free advertising for ethically-based human rights organisations.

It sounds like a pipe dream, but it’s not. It’s thoroughly achievable. 20,000 paid subscribers is less than one-tenth of one percent of the Australian population. Surely, there are 20,000 Australians who care about independent media?

But we can’t do it without your help. If you subscribe at the level of ‘Keen supporter’ ($180 a year) today, we’ll send you our special DVD activist pack, which incudes three must-see documentaries.

And if you’re an existing NM subscriber (at a lower level – $90 or $70 per year) and you re-subscribe today, we’ll send you a single DVD (go here and click on the ‘orders’ tab to find out when your subscription expires).

Last year, New Matilda received a strong boost in subscriptions, courtesy of two major investigative pieces: Frances Abbott’s secret $60,000 scholarship, and Professor Barry Spurr’s spectacular racism.

More recently, we brought you the revelations of the leaked Moss Review transcripts, a major news story which was completely ignored by mainstream media.

And that’s one of the reasons why we’re so passionate about independent media at New Matilda. Because like you, we can see where this country is headed. And like you, we don’t like it.

We have governments of both political persuasions who will demonise the nation’s most vulnerable citizens for political gain. These same politicians target asylum seekers, trash our environment for profit and undermine the basic rights of workers and families, all the while implementing policies aimed at advantaging big business and wealthy Australians who don’t need the help.

Worst of all, we have a mainstream media that often exploits these very issues for their own financial gain.

It is time to ‘reclaim Australia’, but not by targeting our most marginalized and vulnerable citizens. It’s time to reclaim Australia by holding power to account, and by shining a light into corners that those in power would rather remain dark.

And we need your help to play a role in that. Please consider subscribing to New Matilda today… and watch this space for more about New Matilda’s major May fundraiser. We promise plenty of surprises, a few laughs… and some revelations that we hope will help re-shape independent media in this country.

In the meantime, if you want to help support New Matilda, you can share this story through your social media networks, and encourage your friends to join the push to ‘Reclaim Australia’.

New Matilda

New Matilda is independent journalism at its finest. The site has been publishing intelligent coverage of Australian and international politics, media and culture since 2004.

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