So you have probably heard by now that New Matilda has been terminated. As of June 25, it will be no more.
This, quite naturally, makes me very sad. Of coruse it's not nearly as great a blow to me personally as it is to the newmatilda.com team, who've worked like trojans on the site and now find themselves out of work. But it's still terribly disappointing for me, because it's a site I've been writing for since 2007, the first place to publish my work, and I think the home of the best humour writing I've done.
As I am quoted saying in Crikey (and also, for some reason, at Tim Blair's blog, where I was shocked and wounded to discover that Blair fans don't know who I am), nobody would know my name if it weren't for New Matilda. If you're reading this blog, it's probably because of New Matilda. Were it not for their willingness to give a slab of space to a nonsense-spouting non-entity, there's a good chance my writing would still be exactly nowhere. Of course I'm still pretty obscure, but without NM I wouldn't be that.
And so it's a depressing time for me. There's loads of stuff being written now about the implications for independent and online media, and it may well say something about the future of the media. New Matilda just couldn't make any money out of its model, because online advertising is simply not a big moneyspinner, even if a lot of people are reading. Maybe the Crikey subscription model is the only one with a chance of working; but if that's the case, will any new outlet have to ape Crikey to get anywhere?
In any event, there's no doubt that this is the passing of a little piece of alternative, thoughtful, analytical Australian media, and I do think it's a great shame. NM was something different; it gave voice to little-heard views and unknown writers (like me) and it was a noble counterpoint to mainstream media commentary.
(Some are holding out hope New Matilda can be saved; I doubt it can in its present form, but I do hope that maybe the name and the ethos can be continued somehow.)
But it's soon to be gone, and I suppose we will all move on. Thank you to all those who read my and others' work on newmatilda.com; I hope you'll keep supporting independent media, and see the NM battalions fighting on new battlefields in future. No doubt there'll be more to say before June 25; and I do hope you'll keep reading up until then.
As for me, watch this space.