IA and the Ashbygate Trust

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IA has received pledges of $30,000 so far toward the establishment of a Trust to further investigate the Ashbygate scandal. But it needs $50,000 before the Trust can start its work. Geezlouise explains what this is so important.

IT IS EMBARRASSING to admit but, until I found Independent Australia, I was indulgently apathetic towards the political future of my country.

Using the excuse of the seemingly intractable problems of the media monopoly and a parliament held hostage by the two party system, I absolved myself of the responsibility to do something about it on the basis that it was all just too hard. IA changed that.

After struggling for a while with the mainstream media (MSM), before giving up in dismay, I tried fill the news and commentary gap created by the MSM's disregard for its readers and its duty from the various startups and blogs. I was reading quite a few, however it wasn't until I discovered IA that I realised what had been eluding me — it's that practice of elevating reader's interests above those of the advertisers, journalists and owners'.

IA also reminded me of the fundamental concept of democracy; that along with enjoying the rights we all benefit from comes the responsibility of ensuring the system is maintained, and improved upon, for the benefit of future generations.

That was my experience and I'm sure all of you are already aware that Independent Australia is no ordinary news website.  More than just Australia's second highest ranking independent news website it is without doubt Australia's most innovative media presence.  IA doesn't want you to just sit back and read about how bad it all is, IA encourages its readers to get active, to write an article, to join the discussion. To do something.

This is essentially how the idea of the Ashbygate Trust was formed. As readers, we obviously want to know the full story behind this disgraceful episode and we are simply not going to get it from the mainstream media or the authorities who should already be investigating.

IA has distinguished itself in its tenacious pursuit this story, but unfortunately this is not sports reporting, you can't simply turn up, watch the game and summarise the results.  The players in this intrigue have very deliberately tried to bury the evidence and stonewall the investigation. Vince O' Grady, David Donovan and Ross Jones have done a great job in keeping the story alive, but digging deeper was obviously always going to take more support — serious, cashed up, fighting fire with fire support.

It's amazing what can happen when you decide to take that first step.

The Ashbygate trust idea was born, we readers would contribute to a single purpose trust established with the mission of exposing the skullduggery and bringing the Ashbygate conspirators to justice, and IA would manage it. Most of you have probably already seen it on the website but for those who haven’t, you can read more by clicking here.

Now this is the really exciting part. We readers agreed!

We saw what IA was trying to do, we saw that in this fight IA was outgunned and we put our money where our mouths are, with pledges to the tune of over $30,000 so far. This is the kind of relationship that just doesn't exist in other media organisations. IA trusted that it would not be embarrassed with its call for contributions falling upon deaf ears and we readers trusted that IA would be a responsible custodian of our money. This isn't just a company and its customers, not just a service and its clients, this is a team! This is a new way of providing the community the news that it deserves.

Besides the outstanding support shown by readers the trust has also secured the pro bono Services of professional private investigator to help us with the discovery process and a commitment from the distinguished lawyer Chris Murphy to make sure we get superior legal assistance and access to the eminent senior counsel should that be required.

Momentum is starting to build, and is doing so quickly.

So, a huge thank you to all those team IA members who have contributed so much in just two weeks. We really are creating something that is unique and extraordinary. We are saying to the media, the authorities and those in power — if you neglect or refuse to look after our interests, then we will go out and look after them ourselves.

I would also like to take this opportunity to encourage everyone who thinks that getting to the bottom of the Ashbygate saga is important for the future of our democracy to contribute to the trust.

Who knows, if successful this template may become the future for investigative public interest journalism in this country. This is an opportunity to be part of something novel, worthy and groundbreaking.

Many thanks


If you would like to contribute to the Ashbygate Trust, please email Geezlouise and IA editor David Donovan at .

Note: only pledges, not cash donations, at this stage. Once we reach the target of $50,000, we will advise how to remit the funds.

(This story has also been emailed to IA's 3,000 or so newsletter subscribers. Read more about the Ashbygate Trust and see the pledge total rise by clicking here.)

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License
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