After Workers Online goes...?

To state the obvious -- with the specific and rather ALP Laborism narrowism of Workers Online passing from the scene, that leaves a big hole in labour movement coverage here in Australia. >>

[See announcement : "After much reflection, in consultation with the officers of Unions NSW, I have decided that this will be the final year for Workers Online and that this is its penultimate edition..."]

Aside from what the various unions put out in way of news feeds and press releases; and the very limited ALP centric coverage offered by (Eric Lee's) LabourStart Australia(which mainly aggregates the bosses media) -- and I guess some of the radio emanating from 3CR in Melbourne -- such as The Stick Together Show -- there's now this huge gap precisely at a time when the labour movement needs sympathetic coverage and truthful reportage most.

We've known that in regard to the WA campaigns and Work Choices abuses there that it was primarily through Green Left Weekly that the story was carried to the eastern coast. I thought that knowledge of events in the labour movement, the solidarity and the incidences of employer
abuse of workers rights was a key feature recognised at the October National Trade Union Workshop and it seems to me that a way to grab information and deliver it to a broad audience within the labour & solidarity movement is something we need to seriously consider in the new year.

I've thought about some podcasting options in this regard but that would require a network of committed reporters or a handy, effective and systematised use of phone interviews that could draw on first person information at the scene of the activity. Now with mobile phones and the like, & if we accept the use of 'rough' audio as a consequence-- maybe that's something that warrants exploration?

I think so anyhow as I've been wondering how to explore that very option.

While I'm just been thinking free form like, from my own experience as a listener -- one of the most effective formats in way of reportage I've come across is Free Speech Radio News -- or for a background & its split from Pacifica and its relationship
with the genesis of Democracy Now! go here.

Previously the cost of these same phone calls was a drawback but maybe with these new VoIP setups like Engin we can now look forward to a very cheap possibility coming to fruition. And I'm basically talking about short sound grabs too -- less that 2-3 minutes a report. So I think the technology at a very very cheap price is almost there -- one that lives off a massive contact list of phone numbers to pull in reports from anywhere
anything breaks out.

But I think it has to be both audio and hard copy as the audience isn't either one media form or another but content needs to be delivered regardless of its form.

Anyway, it warrants consideration -- especially now that WO is set to pass into history.

I'm certainly pondering the topic..

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