|Monica Attard to edit The Global Mail|
Attard has told Crikey.com.au that the independent start-up will be based on a not-for-profit public interest model, and will feature neither subscriptions or advertising, making it an entirely philanthropic media venture not unlike ProPublica.
The Global Mail will employ four senior journalists abroad in New York, Paris and Asia and seven – up-and-comers and seasoned journalists – at its Sydney headquarters. The local reporters will each cover their own beat, while the site will include "off-the-cycle" analysis and cutting-edge multimedia elements, with Wood telling Crikey the initial focus will be on Australian issues within a global context, though there are plans to move into Asia.
"This is about journalism ... I think that the quality of public interest journalism is at the lowest ebb that I'm aware of," Wood said. "That's a result of financial difficulties that media organisations are suffering, so as the quality goes down ... there's demand there that's not being met."
Wood's personal wealth is valued at $327 million and he's been a financial supporter of the Greens and arts charities. A former foreign correspondent, Attard is currently the presenter of ABC Local Radio's Sunday Profile. She will leave the national broadcaster in a few weeks to go online full-time.
The Global Mail will be competing locally with Crikey itself, as well as independent sites such as NewMatilda.com and Eureka Street, ABC news and opinion sites The Drum/Unleashed and Big Ideas, News Limited's digital properties (including news.com.au, theaustralian.com.au and The Punch), Fairfax digital (afr.com, smh.com.au) and female-skewed sites including mamamia.com.au and the newly launched Wendy Harmer venture TheHoopla.com.au.
The news comes as Arianna Huffington is reportedly considering establishing a Huffington Post outlet in Australia following a launch in Britain under new owner AOL, which has put it in direct competition with the Guardian and the Daily Mail now News of the World is out of the picture.
How in the world wide web will the new-wave of online journalism sustain itself? The love of a good story, it seems.
Read the full report at Crikey.
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