The advent of independent media and a new wave of citizen journalism is fast becoming the straw that broke the camel’s back of establishment media. For the first time in the 500 year history of newspapers, people without any official qualifications as journalists are competing on the same playing field as so-called ‘real’ journalists. And in many instances, they are doing a damn good job of it — reaching their target audience with their fresh or alternative views and news. Amateur writers and lobbyists abound. Some use Facebook to blog and share links, while others take the time to develop standalone websites so as to better display their views and ideas. (This is the path I have taken with my own website: Badrick Unadulterated.)
If you swing left, the Blogotariot webpage aggregates a range of progressive Australian blogs and online journals, which you will find as a link on Independent Australia and which, in turn, aggregates IA’s articles. Being politically neutral I would happily add Blogotariot as a link on my own site, but at this stage I happen to believe my conservative apolitical sensibilities preventing my stories from appearing there.
Being of the centre-right doesn’t make you any friends from either left or right field in the internet world, I can assure you, but I make no apologies for not putting all my ideological eggs in one basket on Badrick Unadulterated. When you start only writing stuff for a specific target audience with no view towards challenging your audience’s political versatility, then my opinion has always been: why bother writing anything. If their mind is already made up and you are only telling them what they want to hear 100 per cent of the time just to keep them sweet on you, the core principles of balanced journalism go straight out the window, along with your integrity.
Speaking of right wing blogs, which of course compete against the predominantly centre-left ideology and commentary on Independent Australia, you might want to check out the links column on the Australian Tea Party website (but only if you have an iron gut and no stomach ulcers). I must admit, I have a link to my blog from the Australian Tea Party website as well as one to Independent Australia. I agree with some of the more moderate right wing philosophies that are promoted on the Tea Party website itself and some other affiliated websites, but I don’t always agree with some of the more redneck hard-core right-wing agendas it is engaging in. And I know for a fact that the Murdoch newspapers are phishing a lot of micro-political activity from what is taking place behind the scenes in the Australian Tea Party and several pro-Jewish groups and essentially plagiarising that material to contrive some of their anti-left commentary.
So, while I am proudly anti extreme left and anti-socialist, I am not at all advocating that we replace left wing extremism with an ugly right wing variety. Without fail, in my experience of dealing with journalists and politicians, I know that the worst thing going for free speech is left wing politicians and right wing fundamentalist journalists. Indeed, I know more decent left leaning journalists then I good ones who swing right — even though I identify as centre right. On the flipside, if I had to, I would much sooner hang out with centre right politicians than ones that are left of centre.
All I know is that freelance journalism is in good shape, with a multiplicity of voices making themselves heard — even if the ratbags with a partisan political agenda keep outdoing blokes like me in the readership stakes.