On Saturday 25 June, contributing editor-at-large Tess Lawrence wrote a story about the Labor Government refusing to fairly index veterans’ entitlements called ‘Diggers versus the Gillard Government’. This sensational story of Government betrayal of our returned soldiers included comments by former NSW Labor MP and Vietnam veteran Ian McManus about the “...greed, corruption, self-interest, branch stacking and elected representatives who often scoffed at the plight of their constituents...” that he had seen in his 30 years in the Labor Party. This story immediately began attracting huge numbers of comments and hits from veterans, who finally saw some media attention being given to their predicament.
[Read this story http://www.independentaustralia.net/2011/politics/exclusive-breaking-news-diggers-versus-the-gillard-government/]
On Sunday we issued a press release. We were surprised that, despite strong allegations about corruption in the Government Party, we received just one enquiry from the press (2UE) — one, indeed, from which no story eventuated.
Undeterred (we are used to the conduct of the Australian press) Tess Lawrence and Brigadier (ret’d) Neil Weekes launched a coordinated campaign through Independent Australia, the Defence Force Welfare Association and other organisations to help bring justice to veterans and their spouses and heirs.
Here are some other stories Independent Australia has published on this issue:
- http://www.independentaustralia.net/2011/defence/exclusive-diggergate-continues-the-march-for-justice/ (by Tess Lawrence)
- http://www.independentaustralia.net/2011/defence/exclusive-diggergate-diggers-in-afghanistan-support-khaki-spring/ (by Tess Lawrence)
- http://www.independentaustralia.net/2011/defence/diggergate-campaign-a-call-to-arms/ (by Neil Weekes)
Their efforts have slowly borne fruit, with stories having been published last week in The Australian, the Brisbane Courier Mail, Sydney Daily Telegraph, Northern Services Courier and others, with a major article due in this weekend’s Sunday Mail. We wish the veterans well—these heroes deserve adequate compensation, not poverty.
YOU SAW IT FIRST IN INDEPENDENT AUSTRALIA
It is not unusual for Independent Australia to be the first to breaking news.
Indeed, it is the reason why we are undoubtedly the fastest growing news and opinion website in Australia (see graph below). The fact is, the popular press avoid publishing all the compelling stories because they have their own agenda — one which is largely dictated, or at least swayed, by commercial, corporate or vested interests. Independent Australia isn’t swayed by commerce, old-boys networks or partisan politics. We are as independent as our name suggests, as well as fiercely democratic, proudly Australian and a responsible world citizen. We publish without fear or favour, and people who fear our disfavour attempt to marginalise us.
Any attempts to discredit us appear fruitless however, since we have been doubling our readership about every two months. Last month was no exception, with Independent Australia growing at an even more astonishing rate. We had 32 per cent more page loads (78,566 in June, up from 59,565 in May) and 56 per cent more visitors to the site (56,021, up from 35,877). To put this in perspective, in January we received just 12,273 page loads and 7,125 visitors.
If IA keeps growing at this almost exponential rate, we won’t be worried about the mass media not reporting our stories — we will be the mass media.
Keep supporting Independent Australia — help make the dream of a fairer Australian media landscape a reality.