Why we are launching amid the COVID-19 crisis

by | Apr 1, 2020 | COVID-19, News, Opinion | 0 comments

We wish we were launching under better circumstances.

As everyone is painfully aware, these are extraordinary times for the Northern Territory and the rest of the world.

It was our intent to launch the NT Independent next month, however given the pressures everyone is feeling we have decided instead to launch early in an effort to fill the gaps on local coverage about the coronavirus pandemic and how it is affecting you and your family – as well as to keep an eye on what the NT Government is doing in these unprecedented and distracting times.

Launching early means we will be delaying our revenue generating plans a few months and we’ve had to scale back our planned content material for the time being to focus solely on telling your stories and providing information and articles you won’t find anywhere else. Apologies if some of the sections are not operational – they will be soon, but right now we need to get critical information to you and that takes priority.

We don’t think media should be profiting off a public health crisis and charging you to access stories that inform you about what’s going on in your community.

Unlike other local media outlets that get paid by the government to run stories of public importance, and then hide it behind paywalls or use the info to bait you into subscriptions, we’ll be providing the information you need for free.

Now is the time for independent and free information, to help us get through this together.

We understand your unease about what is transpiring and the worry that comes with losing your job or having to close your business.

We want to do our part to help and will be offering companies that wish to advertise to the public in these trying times free space on our website for the next couple of months.

Simply send an email to advertising@ntindependent.com.au telling us about you and your company and your current situation.

We have always envisioned the NT Independent being the centre for community debate about the major issues and what matters to you and we invite everyone to participate in this project. So, send some lines and let us know what’s on your mind these days.

We have a lot more we want to tell you about how the NT Independent will function. That will come in time.

Suffice to say, independence is vital in how a newspaper operates and is at the heart of our mission to provide Territorians with unfettered access to stories – your stories, told without outside influence.

You should also be aware that we will not be accepting NT Government advertising for the simple reason that our reporting will involve uncovering corruption in the NT Government and holding politicians and senior public servants accountable. We feel we can’t do that in good faith while getting paid by them.

We’ll be explaining more about how the NT Independent will function in the coming weeks, and we will also be announcing our independent integrity council, made up of respected local Territorians who have a history of pitching in and trying to improve the Northern Territory, who will oversee and help develop our editorial policies and guidelines to further build trust with the community.

While the NT Independent website is new, we are old friends. You’ll recognise a lot of contributors in the coming weeks, people you know from the community and people you’ve trusted to get the full story out to you.

Our commitment will always be to you and the community we share, especially during these unsettling times.

There’s always been an independent spirit in the Northern Territory – it’s the source of our strength in the face of adversity. And when times call for it, it means sharing that strength. We can think of no better way than by sharing our stories.

Get in touch and let’s keep talking.

Christopher Walsh, Editor, NT Independent

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