(UPDATE—only 30 minutes to go until Margo quits Webdiary. Please prepare to observe a minute’s silence)
It’s all over for Margo Kingston’s Webdiary:
G’day. Webdiary will close at midnight tonight. Thank you to everyone who contributed and helped me try to make it work. Unfortunately I couldn’t get funding in time to stop me going broke, and certain events have proved to me that my skin is not thick enough to survive in this game.
When I decided to go independent I thought long and hard if I could accept failure in what was always a high risk venture. I decided I could, and I will.
Webdiary’s closure marks the end of my career in journalism. It’s time to move on.
UPDATE. Webdiarist Terry Embling urges Margoist forces to rise up:
The only way we’re gonna get rid of these motherf…ers is by revolution (violent, I expect) as they do not respect the so-called ‘democracy’ that they profess to represent. The ‘average’ voter is either too stupid or too greedy to understand the perils we face; not from terrorism, but from a world controlled by the unelected and totally amoral military industrial complex that Dwight Eisenhower so presciently warned of.
Embling points out that leftoid blogger Rob Corr has also quit.
UPDATE III. Margo fan John Faros: “Your site was perhaps the only site where truth could be openly debated.”
UPDATE IV. Love is dying.
UPDATE VI. Harry Heidelberg: “I don’t understand what went wrong with the creation of the new site. They said it would take six weeks and it has blown out into six months. In fact when Webdiary was launched on the Typepad site I created, it was said the new site would be ready in four weeks ...”
UPDATE VII. Damian Lataan: “There essentially is now no independent voice left specifically for everyday Australians to vent their feelings ... Australia desperately needs a voice to counter the coming fascism.”
UPDATE VIII. David Curry: “I can’t think of anybody else in Australia who has fought so hard for democracy.”
UPDATE IX. Yobbo: “Tim Blair, John HoWARd, and Evil Zionists really ARE controlling the world!”
UPDATE X. Brother Hamish to the rescue:
I’ve spent the last few hours on the phone to various people and it is clear that at the very least Webdiary is going to continue as a site run by amateurs - amateurs that is with a lot of experience and momentum and love of this community. For my part, I don’t want what Margo has done to die, and I think all of us who feel we owe her something might also think that the best tribute right now is to continue proudly in our community ... Keep posting comments, columnists submit your articles. We’ll find a way to do this.
That’s the spirit!
UPDATE XI. The Age’s Michelle Grattan: “Very sorry to see the closure of Margo’s site. She has been an important independent voice and one of the pioneers in promoting political commentary and reporting on the net.”
UPDATE XII. Mark Steyn: “MARGO QUITS! Tim Blair loses his best material.”
UPDATE XIII. Antony Loewenstein: “Over the years, she has proven time and time again that the mainstream media is no longer capable of reporting fairly.” (Dave S. replies: “This is the truest and funniest thing I have ever read.”)
UPDATE XIV. Northern Rivers Echo editor Simon Thomsen: “Webdiary didn’t fail.”
UPDATE XV. Brother Hamish: “At this stage the ambition is to maintain Webdiary at its current quality.”
UPDATE XVI. The Sydney Morning Herald’s Julia Baird: “Your writing has been unique, passionate, thoughtful and original. I know how dedicated you are to Webdiary, what this community has meant to you, and how hard you worked to make sure it was ethical, open and inclusive. You have been a pioneer.”
UPDATE XVII. The Age’s Gay Alcorn: “Margo, you are the gutsiest journalist I know.”
UPDATE XVIII. Silent Running has a question for Webdiarists: “Can you blame John Howard for the end of Webdiary? I know you’ll find a way somehow …”
UPDATE XX. Craig Rowley: “Webdiary would be the envy of many a small business in start-up mode.”
UPDATE XXI. The Sydney Morning Herald’s Spike column:
Some on the right made her a target, and they were quickly dancing on Webdiary’s grave before the dirt was filled in at midnight. The first post after Kingston’s announcement came from “John Smith”, who wrote: “Maybe it was those joooos who control the media who did it? Glad you are going. [Nasty word] off.” But the majority of posts were strongly supportive, although someone purporting to be John Howard had probably the best last words: “I win.”