New Matilda falls asleep at the wheel

As much as I admire Marni Cornell and Rod McGuinness, there’s no reason for tears over the death of the online journal New Matilda. The site finishes up on 25 June but they will not be the first or the last such outlet to die.

It was no coincidence Cornell quoted Tom Fitzgerald, the founding editor of Nation. Its successor newspaper the Nation Review was in a print template for what New Matilda aspires to be on line. Like Nation Review it has apparently outlived its relevance, or at least its paying clients.

Owner Duncan Turpie gambled on stopping subscription shortly before it became fashionable again. Making it free brought greater numbers of readers but they were not followed by advertisers. Why weren’t there people with products to sell to the audience gained by New Matilda? Was it that their readers were no good for paid products or was it just those wise souls that read New Matilda pay no attention to the advertising that paid for the news?

While sad we’re about to lose a valued publication I feel certain that great content will continue to emerge somewhere. The available media will expand to cater for it.

Phil Gomes thinks the answer to a post-media future will have to be amateur but I think he is aiming too low. Certainly those still in charge don’t think so. Just witness today’s The Australian ads for itself on the ipad.

Where there is a wheel there is a way.

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