If you are a regular or even an occasional reader of Croakey – or even if you are visiting for your first time today – I invite you to support two new writing-for-health projects.
• The Croakey Koori
Watch the YouTube clip featuring Kelly and Luke Pearson, who founded the @IndigenousX account, where Kelly explains why she wants to write for Croakey about Indigenous health from a community perspective:
If you are not already familiar with Kelly’s writing, check her blog (especially the article on “self determination via crowdfunding”).
• Wonky Health
Dr Tim Senior, a GP from south-western Sydney, has launched a campaign via the Public Interest Journalism Foundation’s Pozible channel to fund a regular column investigating the impacts of policy upon the health of people and communities, particularly the most vulnerable members of the community.
Tim wants to help change the conversation about health and says: “I am sick of media stories that suggest good health is created by ‘miracle breakthroughs’, or the latest fad diet, or news of more hospital beds being opened.”
He will be keen to hear your ideas for investigations.
There are at least five irresistible reasons for supporting these projects (and you can probably think of some others).
1. Health matters
Health is a hugely important issue for the community and yet there are any number of studies showing that the mainstream media struggles to cover it well. Areas such as the social determinants of health, health inequities and Indigenous health are particularly poorly served. Kelly Briggs and Tim Senior are experts on these matters; they write with the wisdom and insight of experience – Kelly from a community perspective and as someone who uses health services, and Tim from the perspective of a GP who has a holistic understanding of the breadth of issues affecting his patients, their families and the wider population. The Federal Government has been softening us up for federal budget cutbacks to health. Kelly and Tim will help us track the effect of such cuts – as well as other policies that matter for health.
2. Support innovation
Croakey began and continues as an experiment in new ways of doing journalism, working with and for our contributors and readers. Crowdfunding is increasingly being used to support innovation and creative projects, including for journalism. As many mainstream media corporations struggle to find a meaningful public service role in the digital era, it is important to find new ways of funding and doing public interest investigations. Support these two columns, and you will be helping to support an experiment, which may have wider payoffs. Personally, I’m also very interested in how projects like these change the relationship between writers, audiences and editors/publishing platforms.
3. Creativity counts
Kelly Briggs and Tim Senior are engaging, entertaining and fearless writers. They will not be writing dull but worthy material that no one reads or that doesn’t have impact. Support their columns and you will be helping to support the telling of stories that matter. Powerful, personal stories have more chance of influencing intransigent policy makers and politicians, and of shifting community misperceptions and attitudes than all the academic studies and documents in the world. Plus writers deserve to be paid for their work. (Croakey runs on a modest budget and does not have funds to pay for contributors; however most contributors are writing for this site as part of their work, for example in academia or NGOs etc – more details about Croakey’s funding arrangements are here).
4. They have chosen you, so the least you can do is support them
All of us who moderate Croakey – Jennifer Doggett, Michelle Hughes, Marie McInerney and myself – feel honoured that these writers have chosen Croakey as their platform and Croakey readers as the people they wish to write for.
Besides – the fifth irresistible reason for supporting them – they are offering some excellent rewards to those who pledge to their campaigns. Don’t miss out!
• For more details about the Public Interest Journalism Foundation’s Pozible Channel – see here.