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Not-for-profit news site launched in Australia

06 february 2012, 18:21
A new not-for-profit media group was launched in Australia Monday entirely funded by a philanthropist who has pumped Aus$15 million into a start-up that promises "fearless, independent" journalism, AFP reports.

The online Global Mail will be operating in an environment dominated by Fairfax and Rupert Murdoch's News Limited but is confident it can carve a niche.

With no shareholders and no advertisers, it said its audience was its only agenda.

"It is entirely philanthropically-funded and will last as long as the money is there," the project's editor-in-chief Monica Attard told AFP, adding that they had no immediate ideas on how to generate revenue.

Attard, who worked at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation for 28 years, said it did not see itself as a competitor to Fairfax and News, but rather as a "high-quality addition".

"I believe Australia deserves and needs something like this," she said, adding that they had 13 staff, eight in Australia and five across the world to cover international news.

On its website, the Global Mail described its mission as "to deliver original, fearless, independent journalism."

The site, which will carry everything from investigations to photojournalism and sport, has attracted some respected figures in Australian journalism and will be overseen by an Editorial Advisory Board.

Luminaries sitting on the board include Pam Williams, editor-at-large with the Australian Financial Review, and former managing editor of the Wall Street Journal Paul Steiger.

The site's founding philanthropist is Graeme Wood, who has injected the equivalent of $16 million into the project.

In 2000, he created the concept for, and co-founded, wotif.com, a hugely successful accommodation search site listing properties in more than 60 countries.

Fairfax and News Limited dominate the Australian media landscape, owning websites, newspapers, radio and television stations.

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