Like a frozen pea rolling down a slightly less than horizontal surface, Margo Kingston’s Great Democracy Juggernaut just keeps gathering momentum:
I’m discovering as I edit Webdiary and travel around Australia speaking to people that many Australians have stopped consuming mainstream media completely. They find it depressing to read the bad stuff knowing there’s not a thing they can do about it, and depressing that the big issues either aren’t being addressed or are deliberately being squashed. Yet this response means that those who would destroy our democracy have won without a fight …
My starting point is that those who rule us get their way partly by dividing us, and that the belief in democracy has the potential to unite us in its defence regardless of who we vote for and what else we disagree on. So I’ve started, with the help of volunteers, a new website called Your Democracy to see if this is possible.
It aims to build through citizen journalists a strong alternative media to the mainstream media, which has ceased taking its responsibilities to our democracy seriously and has instead become a mouthpiece for the powerful.
Hmmm. Kingston recently signed a three-year contract with the Sydney Morning Herald to continue writing Webdiary; at $4,000 per month, her contract is worth (before tax) $144,000. Kingston has repaid that investment by denouncing the mainstream media (of which the SMH is a part) and establishing a rival news source – which she promotes via the SMH’s “mouthpiece for the powerful”, where democracy is no longer taken seriously. This is very impressive. Who’d have suspected Margo was a guerrilla capitalist?