I’m a freelance journalist based in Sydney, Australia, writing primarily on international affairs, the Israel/Palestine conflict and domestic politics. Few areas don’t interest me. Sadly, the Australian media is increasingly complicit in the actions of John Howard’s government. Rupert Murdoch owns 70% of my country’s print media, the highest percentage of any Western nation. The alternatives, The Melbourne Age and Sydney Morning Herald, are frequently little better. Fear of seriously tackling governmental corruption and injustice as well as business interests pervades much of the mainstream media. Corporate news values permeate everything and information that slips through is the exception rather than the rule.
Alternative news sources are therefore essential. This blog is but one example. The fight back has begun. It’s time that media existed not solely for the advertising dollar, but for informing readers. Let’s get beyond the Right and Left divide. They exist of course, but increasingly partisan news agendas don’t serve the public interest. I love that the mainstream media is struggling to understand or accommodate the blogging revolution. It’s time they acknowledge that their agendas and angles are no longer the only truth. Far from it. The Iraq war proved once and for all that Iraqi and Western bloggers were the most fascinating source for conditions on the ground, not embedded journalists with the New York Times.
Let’s have a discussion about what media you want, what you dislike, what you think your media isn’t telling you and what perspectives they’re ignoring or highlighting. Blogging allows media to be owned by us, the reader and participant. And that’s the most democratic thing that’s happened to media for a generation.