While her eponymous Webdiarykeeps plugging on, Margo Kingston has signed off. In fact, she’s retired from journalism altogether. I “feel guilty” to be pulling out at a time when independent media is more important than ever, she tells Crikey, wondering how true journalists can regroup to address the situation.

Although she’s been “very proud” to call herself a journalist, the nature of the profession means you’re always an outsider. Now, I’d “like to discover humans,” says Kingston. As a journalist, “I’ve always operated on a big picture” level and “I’ve never really operated as a member of a community.”

But the reasons for moving on are various. Webdiary sent her broke, and undermined her health. In her final letter, Kingston also wrote that “certain events have proved to me that my skin is not thick enough to survive in this game.” But she declined to elaborate and said she wanted to go out “without throwing punches.”

However, she does say that she was devastated that a former Webdiarist “chose to seek to destroy me when I went independent.”

Where to next? Kingston’s not sure, and didn’t know what to put in the occupation category of a form recently – a “real shock for me” – eventually settling on “author.” But her activist streak is still on form. The other night she “joined a local group trying to stop a dragway.”

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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