Building independent media: Sustaining democratic freedoms
This article examines trends in new media journalism, identifying an independent sector which began to emerge with the internet circa 2000. It finds that publications from initially single-person start-ups like Crikey, to the large circulation New Daily, have proved viable and durable, providing alternatives to mainstream print and broadcast media. They have specialised in politics while publishing also in many other fields, characteristically emphasising user participation in both production and funding and exploiting possibilities of new digital models. This article has case studies of the publications Independent Australia, and the New Zealand-based Asia Pacific Report, to further explain the independents’ motivation and mode of operation. It reviews the media environment in two parts: a first phase from 2000 to 2010 and a second major change after 2010 with smart phones and social media. Conclusions are made that the independent sector stands to play a central role in sustaining democracy.
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