Margo solo
Tuesday September 06th 2005, 10:58 am

Margo Kingston (image: Kingston & Fairfax have split- and it doesn’t look like a terribly friendly divorce. In any case, she’s up and running on Typepad.

Margo’s side of the story was covered on The Media Report on ABC. (audio: Real, Windows, MP3)

With media cross-ownership laws in the sights of the HoWARd bully majority in the Senate, Fairfax has seemingly taken a position of being less controversial and more saleable. Pity that. Outside of the ABC, Fairfax is the best news op in Australia.

But… how to make a buck from going indie? It seems Mayne did fairly well from Crikey with the subscription model and subsequent sale. If Margo puts her work up on a sub basis, I’d likely opt in. I’d much rather pay for a sub than have to adblock a bunch of animated advertisements. Sponsorship creates some ethical issues which I’m sure Margo would prefer not to deal with anyway.

Margo’s vision of a pool of independent journalists is important. If Fairfax gets sucked up in the cross-media buyer’s fray to Packer or Stokes, the Australian public is losing a reasonably independent and necessary point of view in the media market. I have no idea how all these indie journos are going to afford to eat lunch, but I certainly hope it happens.


7 Comments so far
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Is $50K worth it?

Comment by Ray 09.06.05 @ 11:45 pm

Ray, if I was a good enough writer, I’d take her up on it. Some things are worth more than money.

Comment by weezil 09.07.05 @ 1:04 am

Go for it Weez! Why not? You’re good enough.

Comment by Dave 09.08.05 @ 12:23 pm

Thanks for the praise, Dave. However, there’s a fifth element that goes into competent journalistic writing that I’m not sure I have anymore. Moreover, I’m disabled. I am not sure I have the stuffings left in me to really bite on to a gig like that with the fervor it deserves. I wouldn’t turn it down if offered, but I think that whomever takes up Margo’s offer would be a little younger & quicker than I.

Comment by weezil 09.08.05 @ 12:38 pm

Don’t down play your ability Weez. Your writing is as good as any I’ve ever read.

I don’t know the extent of your disability, however, I wouldn’t imagine that would be an issue. I think speed of brain is the criteria – something you have in abundance.

Comment by David Heidelberg 09.08.05 @ 12:56 pm

Thanks, David. My disabilities are mainly related to mobility. Quite often in reporting, you’re running about to talk to so-and-so about this-n-that. Mobile phones & internet make a journo’s life quite a bit easier than it was when I last was working press, tho.

I think there’s a certain obsessive rabidity required for a beat that will be as political as Margo’s. It would be a monster job. It will envelop whomever takes it on. It would become a spouse.

Someone younger and with a bit more spring in their steel will do that job well. These days, I’d be like a battering ram. I would alienate my sources faster than I could cultivate new ones. Kid you not, I have SO little patience for the open hypocrisies of daily politics that I’d crash the job. I’m probably best off writing for fun.

Comment by weezil 09.08.05 @ 6:08 pm

I hope she finds a way to make it work (without going broke). It’s unfortunate that those who can actually provide good quality, well-researched facts and opinions find themselves struggling to make a living because we increasingly expect information to be free.

Comment by Kat 09.09.05 @ 11:56 am

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