Today Australian online news and commentary site New Matilda announced it’s calling it quits. Why? It simply ran out of dough.
Some immediately speculated that Crikey would be salivating over the news. After all, New Matilda is practically the only other independent major news and commentary site coming out of Australia.
New Matilda‘s editorial today offers a glimpse into how furiously an online media publication has to paddle to keep its head above water, not to mention consistently produce a high-calibre product, “…ironically, it’s at the time of newmatilda.com’s greatest success that we are making this sad announcement…”:
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“The big media players are struggling to find a workable online business model that allows them to pay their writers and maintain high standards — and so are we. Since we already run a very lean operation, cutting costs is not an option and we are taking the only path available to us at this time.”
Any half decent independent venture has to have a team of people who work their guts out and do it better than their bigger competitors in order to carve out a piece of online territory. It clearly wasn’t a lack of energy, agility or motivation that led to New Matilda calling it quits.
Crikey reader Jane Shaw put it best with a comment on our website this morning:
Every time something that provides thought provoking commentary and forum for sensible discussion dies, our intellectual world gets a bit smaller. Have a look at any commercial “news” outlet and you’ll know why this is NOT a good thing.
Vale NM, you will be missed.