EDITORIAL: Why Daily Review is asking for your support

It’s a fast-changing world. Diverse arts coverage is in trouble as many major media outlets chase clicks through an increasingly narrow range of stories. Niche media outlets, like us, are picking up the slack, and having some great wins. But there’s always more to be done and, for the first time, we would like to ask for your support.

When Daily Review launched in 2013, we did so with one clear goal in mind: to connect audiences with the arts and entertainment industry. It’s something we believe is important, and something we believe we do well, which is why our audience is constantly growing.

Over the last three years, we’ve been proud to have led coverage of the issues affecting Australian arts and culture, from the Age of Brandis, to Sydney’s lockout laws, claims of harassment at SBS, to Sydney Theatre Company’s leadership upheaval. We’ve also reviewed a diverse range of performances, books, films, TV shows, and exhibitions from around the country with our respected and often irreverent, provocative contributors.

Our small team of three staff, plus our regular paid contributors, strive to deliver important news, views and reviews while shining a light on a wider range of artists, companies and issues that mightn’t get mainstream attention. Daily Review remains committed to advocating for an intelligent, inclusive, vibrant and culturally rich Australia that is supported by informed and engaged audiences.

But there’s obviously much, much more we would love to cover. We have big plans for the future of Daily Review, and sometimes our ambitions outweigh our resources.

That’s why we’re reaching out to our wonderful and devoted audience, asking you to join us in the good fight and help to invest further in arts journalism, critique and commentary.

support_daily_reviewOver the coming weeks, you’ll see the Support Daily Review button (the one sitting just to the right) across the site. If you like what you’re reading, that’s your cue to click through and help us out. And if you vehemently disagree, but enjoy how a good debate makes your blood boil, why not send a couple of dollars our way to keep it up? It’s good for your health. We promise.

Please visit the Daily Review support page where you can find out more about our plans, become a supporter, and then have a say in how your contribution is spent.

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Daily Review columnist Luke Buckmaster says:

How many culture websites do you know of that publish writing on new Hollywood movies, and also theatre playing in Australian cities? And concerts? Art exhibitions? Comedy gigs? New TV shows and video games? Politics and social commentary? If you counted with your fingers, I’d be surprised if you used more than one or two.

These are uncertain times for arts coverage in Australia. The rise of the online outrage-o-meter means more writers than ever believe “criticism” equals “venting your spleen.” I am old enough to remember when things were better, and young enough to remain relatively optimistic.

A few months after Daily Review launched, back when it was a part of Crikey, Ray Gill questioned if his story selection was perhaps a little random. I said no, Ray, the word you’re looking for is “eclectic.” You should say “eclectic.”

If Daily Review was unintentionally eclectic back then (sorry Ray) it is intentionally so now: a smorgasbord of quality content for Australian culture vultures. Websites like it, powered by culture aficionados who live and breathe this stuff, are about as rare as four leaf clovers in a nuclear fallout.

In the words of Rod Taylor from that exquisitely kitschy Australian film Welcome to Woop Woop, that’s something worth fighting for. Or simply something worth supporting.

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Daily Review columnist Helen Razer says:

Look. Money. It’s not a pleasant topic, is it? And, it is one that has become so frequently demanded and discussed. Everyone is asking for some for their newest project or not-for-profit or story of heartbreak, and you and I are both sick to the back of our crumbling denture of these requests for our cash.

So. I apologise very sincerely for joining the army of digital charity muggers. I must also declare that I do so in self-interest — after all, Daily Review pays me a wage for my work. In one sense, it feels plain wrong to be asking you, or anyone, to fund me and my interests directly. But in the present, it also happens to be the only recourse.

It comes down to this: if you don’t fund arts writing in Australia of the present, nobody will.

Read Helen Razer’s full piece: are you with us, the wankers committed to culture?

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