Any kind of new so-called alternative voices are welcome in the closed Aussie media environment. New Matilda started in 2004 and aims to provide a centre-left outlook on Australia and the world. This week’s editorial paints a typical picture of John Howard and his seeming inability to feel compassion towards refugees who desire better lives in supposedly open Australia while he expresses compassion towards victims of natural disasters and terrorism over “there” in faraway lands.
The online publication has been very uneven. Speaking to the soft Left voter within, the editors appear generally unwilling to publish writers operating outside the establishment media or academia. Furthermore, this attitude rarely allows any serious examination of political life beyond a two-party system. Perhaps I’m being unfair. I’m happy to continue supporting attempts to highlight the failure of mainstream media in holding business and government accountable. Truly brave indy publishing is something like US-based Counterpunch, though whether Australia can support something like this is debatable. And now we have until May to wait for The Monthly, “a new national magazine of politics, society and the arts.” Pray for guts.