Some sad news for independent media today, with the announcement that the New Matilda website is likely to be shutting up shop at the end of next month.
As most readers would be aware, I’ve had a number of pieces published on New Matilda over the years. I’m sure I’ll still be able to find places to publish my pieces if and when I want, but I’ll certainly miss having New Matilda there, almost invariably having some interesting new insights each day.
New Matilda has grown in substance over the past few years, and has become a good place to find some thoughtful commentary and information. Whilst comment threads by definition are a mixed bag, some worthwhile contributions could sometimes be found there too.
There has been an increase in online sources of commentary and news in recent years. As their announcement on NewMatilda.com notes, this has included sites such as The Drum (funded by the ABC), Punch (funded by News Ltd) and The National Times (funded by Fairfax media). Whilst these new sites have provided new vehicles for commentary, I believe it is still very important to have independent operators in the media and online environment.
Crikey is still rolling along as the main independent web-based source of news and views, and Online Opinion continues to provide a wide range of articles and comment each day. There is also still a number of reasonable quality blogs around which focus on social and political commentary. None the less, the pending disappearance of New Matilda will certainly leave a hole in the fabric of independent social and political commentary, which is already much too threadbare.