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How we have learned to be away from one another (a poem)

It was excruciating at the start

You had barely stopped nursing at my breast
You cried for me when I was away from you,
you cried for your dad when you were away from him,
I’d go from one embrace to the next
searching for love like yours,
Have a breakdown every time –
The pain was so bad I wanted to die,
like ripping your foetus from my womb

It was very difficult at the start

But tears dry over time, my baby, don’t they?
Scars scab
Only we know what it’s like,
to have to force your mind to stop thinking about cuddling
to have to force your mind to stop thinking about laughing together
to have to force your mind to stop worrying if you’re okay without me
It’s easier not to think about it and keep busy until next time
Try and finish all the work and chores before next time

But our weekly reunions, they are like fireworks in the sky!
We shut out the world and hold on tight
We’ve only got a few more days of our special time
Before we have to break away again
It goes so fast, where has it gone?
Just one more day, life, just one more day, time
Our hearts, sewn together so tight
Unstitching is painful and takes time

But tears dry over time, don’t they, my tween?
Sewing skills are mastered
No longer a baby anymore,
you’re starting to set up your own life now
Friends and boys and school and fun
We are like besties now
We talk about everything
Our dreams and our fears,
Our hopes and our sorrows,
I get to travel more now that you’re older
I get to pursue my career and my dreams
We Skype every day and chat and laugh and
say how much we miss each other
You say that I’m cute and that I inspire you
& that you’ll be just fine, not to worry

& I know this, I know

Because we’ve learned to be away from one another

Photo Passionate Tongues Poetry Reading, 2013. Photo Michael Reynolds

By |2019-05-12T08:23:44+10:00May 12th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

If I found out I was dying (a poem)

If I found out I was dying
I would write the best poetry

It wouldn’t be about being sick
but about all the shit people think
but don’t say

(Yes, even I have some of that poetry.
Weird right?)

These poems would be in addition
to the poems I occasionally recite to my boyfriend,
the ones I’ve told him to publish after I’m dead,
tentatively titled ‘zero f—ks’ or maybe
‘Koraly, the uncensored poems’
(Look out for it in bookshops when I’m gone)

It’ll be my best book in terms of sales
& finally I’ll make the money
I was supposed to make
but didn’t make
because ‘Australia’
& arts types from all walks of life
who operate with
huge gates up their arses
but pretend like they don’t

I was also considering, however
the sweetness of being naughty
& publishing one or two of these poems
on my blog before I die

& all the bitches are arseholes
who would have usually got into a big huff,
spewing their political correctness all over me
so that nobody will go near me and touch me again,
those people won’t be able to say much at all
(I’ll tell everyone I’m dying before I post them)
& finally they’ll get a taste of what it’s like
to get your tongue chopped off

Because nothing wins a debate better than
I’m dying, bitch, go fuck yourself

By |2019-05-11T08:20:34+10:00May 11th, 2019|Poems (R rated)|0 Comments

Terrorist (a poem)

You think you are so fu–ing smug,
but you are the just phlegm
spat out the other end
of propaganda

You think you have achieved, my friend?
You haven’t achieved anything at all
You had your whole life ahead of you
& you flushed it down, into the mouths
of hungry politicians

I am not surprised you are Australian
Born and bred in the palace of multicultural racism,
you are a product of your motherland’s tender breast,
a deformed mutation
of an unbalanced, ecological society
when I see our flag
all I am reminded of
is colonial white men like you
& the white wives beside you

You by no means deserve this poem.
Or maybe, in a sense, you do
Because I want you to know all this,
as you sit in your cell in the night
smug as an arrogant cunt,
that those that shout under your banner,
– those to your left, and those to your right –
but also those who sit directly opposite you
that with every bullet you bleed
every bomb you blast

You lose

The shards come for you, don’t they?
You’re probably feeling them now
Just under your skin, they bleed
When the epicentre of your actions are done
The shards embed in you, don’t they?

You will probably never sleep again,
as the ghosts of your innocent victims roam above you
they will run circles, their cries will live inside your mind,
plague your every cry from the day of your action till your last

It must be difficult to sit smug,
as the whole world watches
Points fingers at you
It must be difficult
Ample punishment, I suppose
To have to uphold being a hero to your banner-men
when deep down you feel kind of dumb

By no means, do not mistake this poem for sympathy
It is in fact the opposite of that very idea
It must feel weird to have lost all hope for a great life
In the quest for popularity
It must feel a bit odd for you now
after you had your few hours of gratification
that it was a bit of an anti-climax for you
Maybe you should have tried a career in acting instead
That may be some advice you could pass onto your extremist friends
Because at the end of the day
good people who don’t kill innocent people
outnumber bad people like you
I hope it doesn’t offend you that I call you bad
But at the same time I hope it does
Adds another little shard
Under your skin
You won’t take us down
With you
We outnumber you
So, just sit there, smug

By |2019-03-29T09:32:32+10:00March 17th, 2019|Poems (R rated)|0 Comments

Poem for Aiia

Aiia, I keeping hearing your head hit the pavement,
down by the mouth of Latrobe,
where the muzzas and the wogs
get their uni degrees

I keep hearing your head hit hard
You were on the phone to your sis,
If only she could have reached through the line
to strangle him
punch him
stop him
I hear her screams from Palestine:
Bring me sister’s body to me!
Bring her home to me now!

I’d sacrifice knowing your name and your joyous face
just to have you carry on living life like you were,
making the most of all it had to offer you,
being ambitious, reaching for your dreams
riding the ride of life with a smile

Your dreams are our sadnesses now
Your hopes, our heartbreak
Your safety, our nightmare

I always tell the ones who come here
wide-eyed and bedazzled by the fruits of Australian opportunity:
Do not be deceived by what you see
There is a bloody history here
Years and years of corrupt policy,
of sexism, racism and misogyny
There is danger in the night
Take care, stay close to others
Be wary, there is danger in the night

I wish I could have told you, Aiia
Maybe then, just maybe, I would not know your name
I wish it was safer for you, that murder did not roam in our place
Instead, I keep hearing your head hit the pavement
Aiia, I wish I did not have to write this poem
I wish I did not know your name

Image by Brendan Bonsack

By |2019-01-22T18:02:39+10:00January 20th, 2019|Poems (PG rated)|0 Comments

My unforgettable night – Melbourne book launch Just Give Me The Pills

I started writing this as a Facebook post and then I thought to myself that this deserves a blog post because last night, my Melbourne launch of Just Give Me The Pills, was just – wow. Probably in terms of my career, last night was one of the most powerful nights of my life. It was unexpected that it was so, it almost felt accidental, like all these things came together in this precise way to make it so, but I was the one who made the night happen, so I guess it was not.

I started with my best friend in the world Amy Bodossian hosting and being her beautiful, vulnerable, wacky self that I love and adore. Then Emilie Collyer launches my book with a speech that was also like a review of my book and all I kept thinking was “she gets it, she understands the book” and it got me thinking about how male reviewers and female reviewers are SO different in their interpretation of my work and it is the women who always just nail it. When she read my poem ‘backyard flood’, a reconciliation moment with my family (this is the first part of the poem…)

Backyard Flood
I have wanted the heaven to open all my life
and they did thirty-two years later
Christmas Day at Mum and Dad’s
Hail the size of lemons on the tree
Sheltered by the havoc we knew was due
We all stood on the veranda
Watched in amazement the desecration…

an image came to my mind of my family on the veranda, which happened many years ago, and I thought to myself that because I was brave enough to put my story to the page, my family and our moment, our image is going to remain timeliness, long after I too have passed, and it was in that moment that I felt the power of what I had done, the power of my book, Just Give Me The Pills, that not only will I help other women to be empowered, or people who are in marriages (or situations) where their self-worth is ten feet underground, but this image of my family will be immortal.

And then there was the women! The other performers! I wanted my book launch not to be just a celebration of my book, but I wanted to move the focus away from it being me performing my poetry but to bring poets and singers from migrant backgrounds (ones that inspired me) so together we could make a collective ‘sound’, a collective ‘call’, a collective ‘statement’, that we are women, our families migrated here, and we have a voice. I asked them all to interpret the metaphor ‘just give me the pills’ in any way they liked, and what they came up with was so powerful that by the end of the night when it was my turn to perform I struggled. I thought to myself I don’t know if I’m going to be able to perform! Many of these poets had written their pieces because I had invited them to be a part of my event and what they came up with blew my mind. And to think that I had inspired it! I had been the trigger! This is art.

Kylie Supski’s poem of dabbling outside the margins of normal, Tariro Movondo’s piece about her mother’s struggle as a single mother raising her children as a women of African diaspora, Pascal Latra (accompanied by Jacob Papadopoulos) interpreting the stories of my heritage through Greek blues music and transporting us all to Greece, Misbah Wolf (accompanied by Nick Wolf) and her song about depression called ‘the bell jar’, Angela Costi’s poem about her work as a front line worker helping women in abusive relationships and Amanda Anastasi’s poem about her memories of growing up in multicultural suburbia – all of this poetry together had me thinking beyond my book launch. There is an absence of this collective voice in the arts. Maybe my book launch has inspired me into a different kind of venture! All I could think was I need to bring these women together again, or this idea – women from migrant backgrounds.

Despite this I did perform, and my heart was so overfilled with respect, admiration, love, support, inspiration for not only these women but for the people who came to the event to make it the special and unforgettable night it was. Thank you to all who made it so. x

All images in this post Brendan Bonsack. Thank you to the Greek Community of Melbourne and Victoria for supporting the event. Thank you to my editors Les Zigomanis, Maurice Mcnamara and David Cameron. Thank you to Outside The Box Press.

Kylie Supski

Emilie Collyer

Emilie Collyer

Amanda Anastasi

Amanda Anastasi

Amy Bodossian

Amy Bodossian

Misbah Wolf and Nick Wolf

Misbah Wolf and Nick Wolf

Angela Costi

Angela Costi

Pascal Latra and Jacob Papadopoulos

Pascal Latra and Jacob Papadopoulos

By |2018-12-03T19:07:39+10:00December 3rd, 2018|Creative commentary|0 Comments

Why don’t you piss in my mouth? / Γιατί δε μου κατουράς μέσα στο στόμα? (poem)

This poem is response to the product “Body Jane” which received EU funding. The product can be purchased as a drink bottle or a urinal. You can read more about it here in English or Για περισσότερες πληροφορίες κάντε κλικ εδώ here in Greek. This isn’t the first time this has happened. In 2012, a Sydney restaurant had urinals shaped like women’s mouths however complaints had them removed. From what I can see, “Body Jane” is still available.

This poem was written in Cyprus. After I spend some time in Cyprus my thoughts become Greek-Cypriot and so my poetry begins to come out in this language. I find this very interesting! Anyway, here we go. Thanks to Andreas Kyriakou for the translation which we did together.

(English version below)

Γιατί δε μου κατουράς μέσα στο στόμα?
Δεν είναι έτσι που θέλεις;
Για σένα είναι επιτρεπτό
γιατι διστάζεις τότε;
Τα λόγια μου τα θεωρείς γέλια
Το σωμα μου σκεύος ηδονής
Αλλά εγώ απαγορεύεται
Αλλά εγώ απαγορεύεται
Αλλά εγώ απαγορεύεται να την νιώσω,
Αλλιώς είμαι τσούλα

Θεωρείς τα λόγια μου γελοία,
Έτσι δεν είναι?
Για σένα δεν είμαι ούτε καν άνθρωπος
Πρέπει να είμαι χαζή
Πως μπορώ να είμαι έξυπνη αφού σε χρειάζομαι
να με καθοδηγάς κρατώντας μου το χέρι?

Πάρε το μπουκάλι με τα ούρα σου
Αυτό που έβαλες στο σώμα μου
Και πάρε το μαζί σου στα μπαράκια και πιες το σαν βότκα
Είναι δικό σου, όχι δικό μου
Αυτό σου αξίζει
Έτσι δεν είναι φαλλοκράτη μου?
Μωρό μου
Μωρο μου
Μωράκι μου

Στην υγειά σου!

Why don’t you piss in my mouth?
Isn’t that what you want to do?
You have the power to do it, so why not?
My words are a joke to you,
my body only for your pleasure
But I am not allowed to feel none
But I am not allowed to feel none
But I am not allowed to feel none
& if I do I am a slut

You laugh at my words, don’t you?
I must be sub-human to you
I must be dumb
How could I possibly be smart
when I need you to guide me
and tell me what to do?

Take the pee you placed in my body
out dancing for the night
& drink it like vodka
It is yours, not mine to take
That is what you deserve,
my patriarchy
my baby
baby, baby


By |2018-10-08T09:17:28+10:00October 7th, 2018|Poems (PG rated)|4 Comments

Tell It Like It Is: SEXPO confessions of a Greek poet

When I was twenty-three I attended SEXPO for the first time as a married woman and it was my first experience of seeing sex other than the sin/purity teachings of the Greek Orthodox religion. So attending SEXPO as an author and divorced woman many years later is my way of giving back at a grassroots level, of connecting with women and men who have suffered or are suffering from cultural and/or religious sexual repression.

Sydney SEXPO last week was my second SEXPO as an exhibitor/guest with my poetry book, Love and F**k Poems, a story of a Greek woman fleeing her marriage to find her sexual identity. I was shocked to discover how many men and women could relate to the topic of cultural and religious sexual repression. This was my first time giving a talk (interwoven with poetry) on this theme at SEXPO, but I was also at SEXPO during the entire health and sexuality lifestyle exhibition, signing copies of my book and chatting to people.

I have a chair at my table where people can sit with me and people do sit and chat for some time! I think people are really open with me when they talk about their lives and experiences because I am really open and honest in my performances and in my writing, but SEXPO also provides this environment, because it’s all out there. I like that people are really comfortable with me but this sometimes leads to me feeling helpless in some way that I can’t do more. I always advise people to seek therapy and to be patient with themselves. It takes a long time to heal from the damage of sexual repression and it is a journey, an evolution. Even I myself do not feel that I am completely ‘cured’ from the harmful effects religion and culture had on the psychology of my sexual health.

Unlike Melbourne where more women approached me, in Sydney it was the opposite. I spoke to slightly more men who were confused by the teachings around sex in their religion and culture. The people I spoke to were from a variety of ethnicities, faiths and ages and there was many people from migrant communities which I was pleased about. There were quite a few people who told me they came specifically to hear my talk because they were confused/scared about the role of sex in their life due to the teachings of their upbringing. It was confronting as I was talking to see people staring at me wide-eyed and frightened.

Some interesting stories

One man, in his seventies, approached my table and said that he had recently joined the Catholic faith as a way of connecting to Jesus Christ but he was troubled by the rules preaching that sex was a sin unless in marriage. He said he wanted to follow the rules so he could go to Heaven but that he had ended up in hospital because he had stopped masturbating to follow the faith and had severe pains. He was extremely distressed and asked me if I worry that I will be going to Hell because I have sex outside marriage and I said that I don’t. I used to be very scared that God would punish me for doing anything wrong but when I fled my marriage I also fled my faith and I shed this burden.

I also met a women in her fifties who was extremely distressed and said she found her body disgusting and had been taught sex is wrong by her Catholic religion. She was recently divorced and felt lost because she finally realised what these teachings did to her sexuality and she said she rarely had sex with her husband and didn’t enjoy it. She was extremely frightened and I chatted with her for some time and advised her to seek therapy as it is impossible to go through the journey alone. It gave her comfort that I had had a similar awakening and I got through to the other side after many years.

I also met a man who previously worked as a surrogate partner. Under the guidance of a therapist, he worked with women who have been severely repressed by culture and religion and are physically unable to have sex. He explained that in order to help the women open up, he would have to emotionally connect with them and then when they were able to have sex and the process was over, he would have to disconnect, and he found this challenging as he had fallen in love a few times.

I spoke to two men who had fled the Muslim faith in recent years and were learning how to embrace sex in a more positive way as opposed to negatively as it was in their faith. They were really happy I was at SEXPO and talking about this issue. They seemed very happy but told me it was an ongoing journey, overcoming the damage to find your sexual identity.

I spoke to a young, recently married couple and they had both decided to abandon their religion because they, only after being married, realised that being taught sex is a sin doesn’t change things for you once you get married. One was in the Greek Orthodox faith and the other Catholic from a Chinese migrant background. In fact, this is the one flaw in religion: that it assumes you can flip a switch in your mind once you are married and that sex can go from something bad to something good.

By |2018-06-19T18:40:30+10:00June 19th, 2018|Events|3 Comments

Tell it like it is: How political correctness strangled Amy Schumer

I am so over political correctness. It’s like a sea of words I keep drowning in. You got to appear to be the ‘correct’ kind of feminist or they’ll all come for you – and by ‘they’ I mean, feminists. It’s happened to me many times, that’s how I know.

I went to see the film ‘I feel pretty’ starring Amy Schumer last week despite the social backlash and reviews and social media noise citing it was offensive to women and feminism. And I loved it. It was one of the best chick flicks I’ve seen in a long time, but I think that makes me a bad feminist.

I feel pretty held a mirror to my uphill battle with my self-esteem issues

Okay, so here are some of the reviews:

From the Telegraph: “Amy Schumer’s body-positive comedy is cruel and self-defeating”

The Atlantic: “The new Amy Schumer vehicle tries to be a feminist fable—and fails badly.”

NY Times:  “‘I Feel Pretty’ Doesn’t Even Go Skin Deep”

Unfortunately, what reviews like this do is they stop women (and men) who need to see this film from seeing it. I am not a huge fan of Amy Schumer’s stand up, but her screen work has definitely pushed the boundaries of feminism, and with reviews like this I wonder why we are so hard on her.

There is so much political correctness surroundings this film: Amy isn’t fat enough to play a woman who suffers from self-esteem issues. That the film makes a mockery of the struggle of those women. Amy is too white to have experienced discrimination. And maybe all those things are true about Amy, but anyone that judges this film through that lens is only observing it at face value. They are not going deep enough and missing the point, because to me this film is not about any of that at all.

So many people, and particularly woman, are raised in environments where they are constantly told they are not good enough, and this manifests in all sorts of ways when you reach adulthood. It affects the way in which you relate to your friends, to lovers, it can affects your career and life goals. Suffering from self-esteem issues can be like a poison in your life. It can hold you back from success. I know this because I have experienced all this in my life, how the tentacles of self-esteem can wreak havoc in your life. What the film does successfully is that it takes this idea and challenges the viewer to consider how changing the way you think about yourself, changing the way you perceive yourself, can change your outcomes. And this is especially liberating to watch unfold on screen in a light-hearted, comedic way.

Also, this isn’t a documentary, it’s a chick flick. And since when do we believe that the girl would really end up with the guy in reality like is so depicted in this genre? There is always an element of suspended disbelief when watching a film of this genre, which is why I find it unbelievable that people are being so hard on this film. Are we expecting too much of Amy Schumer while simultaneously allowing political correctness to strangle her?

There are other characters who also suffer from self-esteem issues in the film. The boyfriend character does, as does one of the super-model-stunning acquaintance of the protagonist, highlighting that many of us to suffer from it at some point in our lives. While we all don’t live in a Hollywood movie, there is a lot of merit to the underlying message of this film, which has nothing to do with your body shape or how good looking you are, but more to do with how you perceive yourself as a person. It challenges the unhelpful way which we navigate through our lives, because if you don’t believe in yourself, then you make it harder for others to believe in you.

This film doesn’t profess to change the systematic issues of discrimination in our society at all, which is what many are expecting it to do. Comedian Bill Maher slammed the reviews on his show. “Can’t we just sit in a movie theater, un-clench our assholes for two hours, and laugh at what it is, instead of dissecting it for what it is not?” Maher asked. “Movie reviews, they’re not even reviews any more. They’re just, ‘How come you made the movie you made and not the one I would have made?” And it’s so true in this digital world. Reviewers have so much power and they can create so much hype it can actually stop people from seeing a film that they might actually benefit from seeing.

Together with ‘How to be single’, which were also the writers of ‘I feel pretty’, Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein, these two films have been my favourite in the genre of recent times simply because they challenge the notion of a romantic comedy and they have given power back to women. Rather than waiting for some guy to rescue them, the women are the master of their own destinies, and that, my friend, is what feminism is to me.

By |2018-06-01T17:57:18+10:00May 31st, 2018|Reviews|6 Comments

Tell it like it is: Is it more than creative energy that draws us to other creatives?

Last night, I attended the reunion show for local Melbourne band Trial Kennedy. The band, headed by Tim Morrison, who was on The Voice AU in 2013, broke up the year prior to this, amicably, after many years of touring and recording. On stage last night, guitarist Stacey Gray said they had their first gig together when they were just seventeen and that he was now thirty-eight.

When I first saw Trial Kennedy play at The Corner in Richmond, it would have been around 2009. I was around twenty-nine and it was my first ever live music gig. At the time, I was married and was living a life I was very unhappy with. A friend I was studying with at RMIT took me to the gig and I immediately connected to not only their music, but their creative energy. At the time, I was researching my first novel, and my mentor, Christos Tsiolkas, suggested I research bands some more as there is an Aussie rock band in my book. I remember that it felt like singer Tim Morrison was screaming out my rage for me. The creative energy was palpable and I was taking notes right there in front of them, my mind overflowing with possible scenes for my novel.

There were many factors at play that led to my emancipation, but the creative dynamic I shared with Trial Kennedy inspired my direction. My friend introduced me to Stacey and I told him how blown away I was and could I study them for my novel. Tim and particularly Stacey, were happy to be studied as a basis for the band in my novel, and there were several meetings where I asked them all about what it’s like being in a band. I also wrote poetry about them and even had a major crush on Stacey. When I finally left my marriage and my life was in turmoil, the boys handled the situation gentlemanly, and I went to many of their gigs and became a Trial Kennedy groupie!

Looking back now, ten years later, I think about how uncanny creative energy can sometimes be. Is it just our art that other artists can inspire, or is it more than that? It seems in this case their inspiration went beyond my art. They were like a door to a world I had been sheltered from because of my conservative upbringing. So in that way, they illuminated a path I was needing to walk down. Their art inspired not only my art but my life.

Even in other creative relationships I have had, it always comes down to the person and what they stand for. I have learnt from experience that if the person doesn’t like me as I am – flaws and all – it never works out. I sometimes get involved in dynamics where the person has more clout than me and I think it will help but it always makes things worse. You got to work with people who you think are amazing, both as people and creatives. Great art and successful creative relationships happen, I believe, when you really like the person and who they are because who they are matches up with who you are.

Me and Tim at the reunion gig last night

I had the most amazing time at the gig last night. Their music was just perfect. They sound so good live. I went with my friend who took me to the first gig and it was like re-living the night again with the benefit of ten years of wisdom and experience. It was mind-blowing! It is a shame they broke up because I have always believed they all have strong potential as musicians and I would love to hear more music from them. Tim and Stacey were happy to see me, and the boys are still really keen on my novel being published. They were encouraging and it was extremely beneficial watching them perform again at this point in time where I am finishing up with the manuscript for my debut novel, Divided Island and getting closer to being ready to submit to a publisher.


By |2018-05-31T14:56:10+10:00May 27th, 2018|Creative commentary|0 Comments

Tell it like it is: How the media has changed and why I have decided to re-open my blog

Prior to my career as an opinion writer / journalist in Australia, which began four years ago, I ran a successful poetic blog. My poems were political and a kind of social commentary and activism. But with this new demand for my opinion writing, I decided to close my blog’s doors. I was getting one to two articles published a week in major news sites, and so the need for my blog became redundant, because I was writing about topics I was passionate about.

But things have changed in the Australian news landscape – and across the world – and as readers of news, it’s important that you know how things have changed because it does affect you as a member of society.

Platforms such as Facebook and Google have sucked the advertising from news sites

Remember when Facebook was so simple, and you would post and all your friends could see it? Those days are gone. Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook for college students to socialise but today it is a money-making machine appealing to advertisers. So instead of paying to get TV commercials and spreads in print and online news sites, they are advertising to you directly every time you log into Facebook. And same goes for Google. It collects information about you when you search and it stores that information and uses it to sell to you.

With less income from advertisers, news sites have had to cut content

Have you noticed that there is a lot more white space on the home page of news sites? This is possibly a way in which these sites hide that there are less articles on the home page as opposed to how many there were a few years ago. Editors have had their budgets cut so where writers like me were getting one to two articles published a week, this output has steadily declined over the last few years to now sit at around one a month.

There is even less diversity in opinion writing than there was four years ago

Many freelance writers have had to start looking for work elsewhere which means we are losing a lot of great writers. With so much competition to get articles published, diversity has fallen down the priority list as news sites scramble for survival. What this means however is that our media is more whitewashed than ever.

News sites take their content from American sites and package it as their own

Another way news sites have cut costs is that some of their content now comes directly from overseas news sites, usually from America. This is called syndication, and what it means is that rather than paying an Australian writer to write an opinion article, they pay an American news site a smaller fee to republish their article. Syndication can be identified by scrolling to the bottom of the article where you will see ‘LA Times’ for example but the article was published in an Australian news site. The flow on affect from this is that less Australian voices are being heard and our content is becoming more Americanised.

Advertising is seeping into articles

Have you noticed there are more prominent ads on the homepage of news sites? With the competition from Facebook and Google, news sites have to offer more to their clients so they can continue to have their business. This includes having larger ads or offering what is called branded content. This is where advertisers may have articles written for them, by journalists, for news sites. These are articles usually identified as ‘sponsored by’.

Extreme views and more followers are more appealing than quality journalism

One of the ways news sites sell to advertisers is by showing them statistics on how many views they get across their sites. So clicks are very important. But what this means is that more extreme political or social commentating will appeal to news sites, yet this kind of commentating might not be what is most helpful to make our society better. Some examples are Andrew Bolt and Clementine Ford or Trump! Writers with a large social media following are also going to appeal to news sites as they will promote the article to their followers. These big names can become the cash cows of news, but this puts those writers in an extremely powerful position.

Why content going behind the paywall is really bad for society’s evolution

With advertising revenue decreasing, news sites have had to resort to putting their content behind a paywall and charging readers a subscription fee. But readers will tend to subscribe to news sites they politically align with and they won’t have access to other sites with views different from their own. If the left cannot read the right and the right cannot read the left, how are we supposed to learn from each other and evolve?

News sites don’t want to bite the hand that feeds them

Our government funded news sites will err on the side of caution when they publish content about the government in the same way that a news site will think twice about publishing an article that might offend their major advertising clients. We have just seen major funding of $84 million slashed from the ABC which came after fierce criticism from the government of its reportage. News sites have been put in a difficult position where they must be more vigilant than ever in an effort to fight for survival.

Don’t piss your editor off or you won’t be writing for that publication

Writers have less power than ever over their work as they scramble to be published in a market which is at overcapacity. It is even harder for writers to speak up if they have been treated unfairly by an editor, or if they have seen injustices in the media, and if they do they can very quickly be faced with getting barred as there are many more writers out there who will do what they are told.

So why start my blog up again and how can you help

I am still very passionate about writing opinion articles for major news sites and will continue to pitch my ideas to them. However, as a writer, I need an alternative platform to publish views that I know will never get published in the media because there just isn’t the money for it. As a reader, being aware of the issues above is especially important. I hope to open up my blog to other writers in the future. Support your news sites and support alternative sites such as this one in the hope for a better future. Also rally governments to subside journalism, and particularly our public broadcasters SBS and ABC, as we need their impartial journalism more than ever.

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By |2018-05-31T14:54:46+10:00May 21st, 2018|The media|0 Comments