New Matilda Editorial December 19, 2023


Firstly, apologies if you’ve received a version of this email previously. When you look up the phrase ‘broken email newsletter system’ in the dictionary, there’s a picture of the New Matilda logo next to a warning about what will inevitably happen when you try and run a high-traffic online magazine on the sniff of an oily rag. Go figure.

We’re working furiously (literally and figuratively) on the problem. It’s a major undertaking with a stupid price tag (you can click here and chip in a few bucks via Paypal to help us get it done) but in the interim, we’re doing everything manually. That’s 30,000 emails, one by one. On the upside, you’re receiving this from my direct email address, so if you have any complaints, problems, queries or compliments, emphasis on the compliments, you know where to aim… just hit reply!

The newsletter function should be fully restored within the next week, but for now, if you want to unsubscribe, just reply to this email and I’ll manually take you off the list.

No prizes for guessing the reason behind our sense of urgency. No doubt you’ve been watching the unfolding catastrophe in Gaza with a growing sense of horror and grief. Israel has perpetrated a lot of atrocities in its brief 75-year history, but we’ve never seen anything quite on this scale. As I write this, the death toll in Gaza is rapidly approaching at least 20,000, and more than 40 per cent of those killed are children, which makes it officially one of the most indiscriminate slaughters of children in modern history.

Sitting on the other side of the world, it’s hard not to feel helpless and hopeless. But there are ways you can contribute, and one of the most important is to get informed. New Matilda has launched a new video series called #FreePalestine. Its aim is to try and guide readers to in-depth and accurate information that puts this horrific event in some sort of useful context. We’re also trying to elevate voices in opposition to the slaughter, particularly Australian voices, although we hope in the course of our ongoing reporting to also directly challenge those who might support Israel’s actions.

You can watch our first video here on the NM website, or here on Youtube. It’s a lengthy interview with Dr Peter Slezak, one of Australia’s most prominent Jewish pro-Palestinian activists. Dr Slezak doesn’t mince words in his summation of Israel’s conduct both historically and today.

This week, we’ll also release the second video in the series, a three-hour discussion with Nasser Mashni, the president of the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network (APAN). Later in the week, you’ll also hear from Richard Falk, former ‘Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967’, along with more Australian-Palestinian voices.

Basically, this is an ongoing project for New Matilda, and I hope you can find a way to support it. That might be just a ‘like’ or ‘share’ on the dumpster fire that is social media these days, but as always, everything we do is freely available to readers. So you can subscribe to support our work for as little as $6 a month here or just make a one-off contribution via Paypal here. Any support big or small (or in spirit only) is deeply appreciated.

Speaking of spirits… Merry Christmas or Season’s Greetings. Whichever or whatever floats your boat.

Chris Graham

PS. Apologies again for the plain, old ordinary email. We’re working hard to try and get the automated system back up and running.

PPS. Thanks for all the well wishes from readers. I’ll have a happy update on my health(which in the circumstances is surprisingly robust) and on the future of New Matilda soon.

Chris Graham is the publisher and editor of New Matilda. He is the former founding managing editor of the National Indigenous Times and Tracker magazine. In more than three decades of journalism he's had his home and office raided by the Australian Federal Police; he's been arrested and briefly jailed in Israel; he's reported from a swag in Outback Australia on and off for years. Chris has worked across multiple mediums including print, radio and film. His proudest achievement is serving as an Associate producer on John Pilger's 2013 film Utopia. He's also won a few journalism awards along the way in both the US and Australia, including a Walkley Award, a Walkley High Commendation and two Human Rights Awards. Since late 2021, Chris has been battling various serious heart and lung conditions. He's begun the process of quietly planning a "gentle exit" after "tying up a few loose ends" in 2024 and 2025. So watch this space.