On Thu, 21 Jun 2012, Alex Hutton wrote:
Consider that you as an individual could commission a
better yet, an investigator) to investigate into a particular matter
that you might be interested in,
No. I can't. And the majority of people can't. I don't have the income
necessary to sponsor a journalist.
BTW, In Germany, there is one newspaper founded in the last 50 years, the
tageszeitung (taz - http://www.taz.de
) who is sponsored by members, in a way
communal radio (e.g.) is here.
It is there since early 80ies, grown out of grassroot movements (Green,
It is struggling to survive for most of its life.
The German market is ca. 4 times the Australian population.
A similar Australian newspaper, online or not, should share content with
international, english-speaking media, to become sustainable.
The Huffington Post has localized websites, New York, San Francisco, and U.K.
That looks like a model to to me.
BTW: even the "metropolitean" Australian press seems to be very city-centric,
and then the rest of the world is covered by European or American views.
Occasionally I read The Australian, and one of the resons is: It covers the
Australian outback, including Aboriginal affairs, in a way The Age doesn't.
The surrounding island countries are very foreign for us too. Papua-Neuguinea
is the country with the Kokoda trail, isn't it? And Singapore is the place
thousands soldiers became Japanese prisoners of war.
I don't want to belittle this, it is part of Australian history, and good to
know. But the current politics, including our dealings with them (e.g. our
mining interests), of these places, these countries are virtually unknown to
the majority of Australians.
An English or American view does not shine a light here.
My Chinese wife bought a Taiwanese magazine recently. It was interestingly
written in English and Chinese side by side, and covered topics completely
unknown to me.
Given that my company has business relations to Taiwan, it isn't really far-far
away. But in regards of knowledge of their society, it is.
Coming back to the orginal topic, I learnt over the last days that a take-over
attempt around 1990 sparked protest and a movement, including an attempt of
"Friends of Fairfax" (or similar) to buy the newspapers, and a rally lead by
Whithlam and Hawke, and leading to a contract guaranteeing the acknowledgement
of editorial indepencence by the board.
It seemed to matter to the public then. It still does?
I joke sometimes that Australians cannot breed a Hitler because they are too
lazy to be fanatics.
Which is a good thing. The other side of the coin seems to be complacency, the
majority seems to care about anything anymore, and I find it quite frustrating.