Literary journal Meanjin has again missed out on a round of funding from Australia Council. The organisation was one of 62 that had its funding cut from the council’s four-year funding program as a result of the decision made by then-arts minister George Brandis to slash $104 million from OzCo and give it to his own ill-fated National Program for Excellence in the Arts (now called Catalyst under new minister Mitch Fifield).
In a blog post this week, editor Jonathan Green called for people to take up subscriptions in the publication after a proposal for a one-year grant was also rejected.
“Last week the Council rejected an application that would have funded our author payments until the end of 2017. It feels like the crisis is coming closer.
“Meanjin is many things to many people, but to Australian writers of essays, memoir, fiction and poetry it is a source of both audience and payment; it has been since 1940. We have been hoping that the Australia Council would see the worth in supporting that, as they have since the 1970s. While we are determined to push on, and meet Meanjin’s 77th year with positivity and ambition, we do, however, need your help.”
Meanjin isn’t the only high-profile victim of the government’s cuts. Right-wing literary journal Quadrant also missed out on its one-year $60,000 grant, leading the magazine’s editor-in-chief Keith Windschuttle to claim it was an “act of revenge” by bureaucrats for being on the same political side as Brandis.
This week the magazine blamed issues with its publishing schedule on a lack of government funding. Which is odd, since the magazine worships at the altar of the free market and is not generally a fan of socialism. — Josh Taylor