I believe the fight to prevent Tony Abbott and his Tea Party boche ever forming government is the most crucial fight I have ever taken part in.
I can no longer sit around and wail “someone must do something“, that ‘someone’ is me.
Politicians are telling us to ignore the might and power of the multinational corporations that dominate Australian media… Bloggers will save us.
Rob Oakeshott (Ind, Lyne) says “I’m saying the consumer market will beat any proprieter hands down in our new media landscape. Governments can’t.”
*edited to add: FOR THOSE WHO ABUSE ME OVER HOW ROB O SPELLED proprieter THAT IS HOW HE SPELLED IT, I JUST COPIED AND PASTED, IF YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH HOW IT IS SPELLED, TAKE IT UP WITH HIM, BECAUSE I WILL NOT PUT UP WITH YOUR SPELLING NAZI ABUSE
Malcolm Turnbull (LNP, Murdoch, oops Wentworth) “Established players are under great threat. Rupert Murdoch, who is the great paragon of the honourable member opposite me, the member for Reid—he features in all of his speeches!—has said that the internet will destroy more profitable businesses than it will create, and certainly a lot of Rupert Murdoch’s businesses are very much under challenge.”
How can many, isolated blogs ever hope to compete with the power of MSM? For politicians to pretend they are in any way equal is disingenuous and is about defending the market reach of multinational media barons.
In the meantime, readers and media consumers are getting completely bored with partisan, one-sided, anti-Government lies that passes as news.
As Tony Windsor (Ind, New England) once said “I don’t read The Australian anyway. Our family still uses Sorbent.”
Is it too late to stop the creeping Murdocracy?
People say “But what can I do?”
You make a suggestion, and they say “That would never work, let’s just stick with the status quo“.
Be the change you wish to see
Oakeshott is right, the Government can’t solve this crisis, only us, the consumers, can. We can create alternatives to Murdoch, Murdoch-lite (the ABC), and Mining and Gambling magnates.
PM Julia Gillard said to the media “don’t write crap. It can’t be that hard“. Since MSM didn’t listen, maybe it’s time the people Stopped Reading Crap.
Ok, so the people will stop reading the MSM crap, then what? what is the alternative?
I am proposing a One-time Webzine.
But, people say “I like the diversity of voices“.
This One-time Webzine wouldn’t silence that diversity, it would bring even more diversity together. ALP, Greens, unions, environmentalists, Lefties, centreists, traditionalist Liberals, independent, hard-core but anti Abbott liberals.
People say “but we don’t need something new, IA (a news and opinion website) will save us“.
Which kind of contradicts their love of diversity to say that two or three blogs and news sites are all we need.
Some people say, “I like searching out my morning news“.
Others say, I have a busy life, job, kids, volunteer work, social life, I don’t have time to visit a hundred blogs a day, to see if they have updated their blog, or visit a website only to see they are writing about the same scandal that 15 other bloggers thoroughly dissected that morning.
But people say “we don’t want to see our independence squashed“.
How would it be squashed? Do the contributors to a site like Huffington Post feel squashed?
People say “we don’t need anything else, the Guardian is coming, it will save us“.
Yeah, because between AIM, AFHP, IA, Guardian we get plenty of diversity, smaller voices are acknowledged, competition encouraged. Oh no, wait, we don’t get diversity, smaller voices are ignored and competition quietly fades away as clicks fall because the readers are visiting the bigger sites.
I don’t mean to sound like I am disparaging these sites, but isn’t having hundreds of smaller bloggers typing away in their own little niche corner of the internet while people champion the same handful of bloggers on the same handful of sites just mirroring everything they are complaining about with mainstream media?
I love those sites I mentioned, don’t get me wrong, I visited them often, but if we want diversity, how can we find it, if the diversity of voices are so small and unlamented?
Now, just imagine it – 100 or 200 or more!, smaller bloggers donating their best article or their most impactful to a One-time Webzine, with full sub-editing, beautiful yet easy to navigate layout, logical flow, and stunning design.
News, opinions, information, graphics, videos, audio, political interviews, political profiles, marginal seat profiles, state issues, federal issues, local issues, take action checklist related to content, lots and lots and lots of links to other content within the Webzine and the original source (blog, facebook page, tumblr, or website), author acknowledgement / bio, profiles of some of the Left and Centres most active bloggers and blogs, extracts from news sites (limited at 10% by copyright laws), lifestyle stories, policy discussions, political speeches, historic speeches, a “DJ” (well, a list of inspirational, activism, human rights, workers rights song), important contact information for the election (eg. how to find your electorate, how to check if you’re enrolled, links for watching Upper and Lower houses federally, and at a state level), contact information for politicians, even cars, book reviews and recipes (if recipes can be political, red velvet cake? green vegetables?), a hard look at Tony Abbott’s plan for post election austerity, facts, facts, facts, a comments section, exclusive content and highlights from the best of the Left content creators.
Every contributor would be fully acknowledged, no copyright or ownership would be claimed. Each contributor would only contribute what they want to. Source blogs, pages, sites would be fully linked to. This is about helping people find new content and exposé content creators to a new audience.
A great big disclaimer section, featuring the line that “inclusion in the blog does not necessarily signify an endorsement of any of the other contributors or content”, in case there are conflicting views.
If a large number of content creators express interest in taking part, maybe the Greens and the ALP could be approached, told about the One-Time Webzine and then begged and cajoled for some merchandise as a reward/gift when the readership numbers hit a certain mark, for a randomly selected commentor and a contributor (This part of the idea needs some work).
ABSOLUTELY NO MONEY would change hands, either for the contributor or the reader. I would underwrite any costs incurred in getting the Webzine up and online. No sponsorship sought, no information or content sold, no advertising space sold. It would be about volunteers wanting to make a change to our current repressive media climate and providing an alternative.
However, if readers would like to make a donation, there could possibly be a donation page, with links to the Greens, the ALP, Tony Windsor, or some of the bigger blogs that do investigative pieces, or some other alternative.
But, people say, “we don’t need that, my blog already gets 100,000 clicks a day“.
I say, good for you. But please don’t tweet me your facebook likes, your blog clicks or requests for money, or I begin to feel like a walking-ATM and your own purpose for interacting with me online is to raise your click rate. And good for you, I am happy with your success.
But this misses the point, you’re successful, good for you. Not everyone is, but what they have to say is just as important, and many smaller blogs and websites disappear, writers give up, or can no longer find the time, and all that wisdom and insight goes with it.
A One-time Webzine is not about how many clicks on one blog, it is about the huge number of Left, centre, Green, Independent content creators are out there and bringing them together for a one time experience.
Being a One Time Event, content creators can choose one piece that says a lot about them, or recent stories, or something they think might have a big impact and donate that. There would be no ongoing commitment. Also, a one time issue would hopefully mean contributors don’t feel taken advantage of.
It would not be about the number of clicks on one site, it would be about the critical mass of content creators saying “I’m here, MSM, deal with it“.
It would give readers a chance to explore content from blogs that they might not otherwise see.
It would give people who want to make a contribution, but don’t want to run their own blog or website, a chance to do something to counteract MSM dominance.
What would a contribution involve: written articles, videos, graphics, behind the scenes website maintenance, spell checking, grammar checking, fact checking, liable checking, research, promotion, finding content, reading, commenting.
For anyone who wanted to be part of this, there would be a lot of opportunities to contribute – from creating content to being a reader. And all would be welcome.
Why would anyone do this, it sounds like a lot of work?
For all the reasons I outlined at the top of the page.
Take a look at this blog, I have been an outspoken critic of media bias and concentration for a long time.
I am prepared to do the behind the scenes work to showcase our bloggers and content creators on the Left and centre, because I do not need to feed my ego. I will need to feed my family after the election, this will be made increasingly difficult under and Abbott-led government.
It would also be a One Time Thing. If readers and content creators like it, then the discussion could move onto “what’s next?”.
I’ve raised this topic before, because I believe that it would be brilliant. I get overwhelmed with people saying they want to help and then nothing and I also get doomsayers who say we don’t need it, the Guardian will save us. I can’t keep pushing this idea. If you are interested, let me know. If you’re not, I will have to conclude that the majority don’t care enough about alternatives to try something new, or that the current system is good enough, or they know a better way.
Any feedback is welcome.