Online classified revenue in Australia is around 1.5 billion dollars annually. Dominated by a handful of key players, the introduction of online aggregators and specialists have transformed and disrupted the news business.
Separated from traditional micro advertisers in the communities in which they have traditionally operated, small newspapers have struggled to survive against the pincer movement of corporate influence wielded by the larger media organisations, the removal of traditional advertising bases by the aggregators and of course the supra-national social media organisations.
Here at Umbrella we believe that the time is right to try and disrupt this model. That a traditional media relationship with its community is possible in the digital landscape, one that promotes community news and values widely, one that reports as fairly and accurately as possible and one that can serve the function for which media is intended- to report as clearly as possible and which supports local community interests in the long term and not those of corporations or government.
An aspirational goal to be sure and one that we’re working hard to deliver to our community. We are learning a lot about the media since we launched and the cynicism within the industry is breathtaking. We are facing momentous struggles to find the contributors and the right balance of news as there is a distinct divide among our community that we want to contribute to healing.
Since we launched, the scale of the mountain we’re trying to climb has become clearer and clearer and undeterred we keep climbing, but we need your support, your involvement and, more critically, your belief that an independent media is needed now more than ever.
The long term plans for Umbrella are to transform into an organisation that is owned and managed by the community and not shareholders. Over the coming months we will have more to say on this.
In the meantime, we are very pleased to launch the new classifieds section on our website and hope that you can use it, share it and appreciate it for what it can become as much as what it is.
You can create a listing at our Classifieds, here.