This month’s New Matilda fundraiser is a joint one… specifically, we’re raising funds towards our monthly contributor’s budget, and to paying the final instalment of our legal expenses for 2015-16.
How The Funds Will Be Used
In our 12-year history, New Matilda has never been successfully sued over our reporting. Touch wood.
On any given day, we rely on generous pro bono legal representation (from our amazing ‘in-house’ lawyer Geoff Holland), but we still occasionally incur significant legal expenses to ward off legal threats.
New Matilda’s legal costs for the 2015-16 financial year were $55,000. We’ve managed to pay off $43,000 of that bill (which we’re actually pretty proud of), but we still have $12,000 owing. We’re hoping New Matilda readers can help get us across the line before the end of the financial year.
Unfortunately, legal expenses – and legal threats – are a fact of life when you publish the sort of investigative material New Matilda specializes in. On the good news front, New Matilda is currently lawsuit free, with no legal matters on the horizon (although next week might be a different story!). Touch wood again.
The remaining $9,000 of this fundraiser will be directed towards our New Matilda contributors, specifically Amy McQuire, Ben Eltham, Michael Brull and Liam McLoughlin.
Each week, Amy, Ben, Michael and Liam take aim at a host of issues – everything from Aboriginal affairs, to politics, the Middle East and asylum seekers. We like to think that he have some of the most talented and informed writers in the country. But obviously, that comes at a cost.
Most of our contributors are unpaid, and Amy, Ben, Michael and Liam are grossly underpaid… but they do need to occasionally eat.
Contributions to this Pozible campaign will be used to continue to pay Amy, Ben, Michael and Liam a measly fee for their outstanding work.
Amy – a Darumbul and South Sea Islander woman from Rockhampton - was, until last year, NM's full-time senior journo. 'Smiles' moved back to her home state of Queensland to start a family, and still files regularly for NM. Until early this year, she wrote for no money – that’s how passionate Amy is about independent media. We want to be able to continue to guarantee Amy a small but consistent fee for her contributions... which of course, will centre around Aboriginal affairs, but also weigh into a myriad of women's and social justice issues. Amy’s work on New Matilda can be viewed here.
Ben is one of New Matilda’s longest serving (and longest suffering!) writers, and this year will clock up a decade filing for Australia’s most stubbornly independent media site.
Each week, Ben weighs in on the hottest political topics of the day – he’s one of the country’s most respected political commentators, and provides his work to New Matilda for a pittance (about one fifth of the industry freelance rate). You can view all of Ben’s outstanding analysis here.
Michael has been slaving away at NM for almost two years. He writes on a wide area of topics, but in particular on the Middle East, Aboriginal affairs and media. Michael completed his law degree late last year, and in our humble opinion is one of the nation’s most informed and authoritative commentators on Middle Eastern affairs in Australia. You can view Michael’s outstanding body of work here.
Liam filed occasionally for New Matilda during 2015. His special area of interest is around social justice issues. Liam is an exceptionally talented young writer (and researcher), and is trying to break into a full-time career in journalism. As a regular writer for New Matilda, Liam files on everything from Aboriginal affairs to asylum seekers. You can see his work on NM here.
The only challenges facing New Matilda relevant to this funding campaign is... successfully defending whatever legal battes come our way. We're shooting 100 percent at this stage... touch wood one more time.