New Matilda Takes New Direction
26 February 2007 at 11:40 am
Influential online news and social policy portal, New Matilda is taking a new direction with the magazine splitting away from its policy development outlet.
Just three years old, the New Matilda Magazine is being restructured to ensure it continues to provide independent news and comment according to its directors.
New Matilda says the magazine will be re-launched as an independent media outlet to provide high-quality journalism and debate on a daily basis. The current New Matilda Policy Portal will operate separately and be transformed into a public interest think tank.
Last month, New Matilda’s directors agreed that the magazine required a capital injection and accepted an offer by one of its directors, Duncan Turpie to invest in it.
The offer has now been accepted by New Matilda shareholders at a recent AGM.
Duncan Turpie will be sole director and owner.
New Matilda says all current Policy Portal work will continue in the new think tank.
Founding chairman of New Matilda John Menadue will be the think tank’s Chair and current Policy Coordinator Miriam Lyons will be Director.
Established in August 2004, New Matilda has become a prominent media and policy development outlet, with many significant achievements to its name.
It has published over 2000 articles by more than 500 contributors, launched major policy statements such as Our Common Wealth and Reclaiming Universal Health Care and generated widespread public awareness and support for a Human Rights Act for Australia.
Initially, the directors say New Matilda aimed to provide both an independent media voice and policy development, and these two aims evolved side-by-side. However, in recent months the two have outgrown each other. As the Policy Portal succeeded in promoting its own policy agenda, it affected the perceived independence of the magazine.
Likewise, they say as the magazine’s influence and readership grew, it became more difficult to gain mainstream media coverage for New Matilda’s policy development work.
The New Matilda board, in October last year, agreed to explore the option of separating the Policy Portal from the Magazine and setting it up as an independent think tank.
New Matilda says that like all new small businesses – especially those embarking on independent publishing in Australia’s small marketplace – its first years have been difficult financially.
Meanwhile, John Menadue and Miriam Lyons have been working to establish the new think tank, which will continue to debate, develop and promote policies for a fair and sustainable Australia.
New Matilda says the think tank, which will be called the Centre for Policy Development, has been seeking pledges of support and is well on the way to meeting its fundraising target for its first year of operation.
All current New Matilda subscribers will be offered memberships to the Centre for Policy Development when it launches in April.
All current subscriptions to New Matilda will be honoured and Duncan Turpie and the staff of the magazine will be developing new features for a re-launched website in the near future.