What might the world look like by 2025? Will there be greater public and political engagement in addressing health equity concerns and the wider determinants of health?
How might Croakey look in eight years time? How will technological and other developments such as climate change affect how we work and what we focus on?
Will we have developed the capacity to realise our ambitions (which are currently far bigger than our means)?
These and other related questions were on the minds of members of the @CroakeyNews connective when we gathered one recent Sunday morning in Albury in southern NSW, on Wiradjuri Country.
As previously reported, our meeting was timely, following hot-on-the-heels of a recent Senate inquiry highlighting both the serious challenges facing public interest journalism and a lack of political resolve to respond with bold policy action.
Our meeting sought to develop strategies for putting Croakey onto a more sustainable footing (readers may not appreciate that no one makes a living wage out of Croakey at present).
We also sought to develop a vision for #CroakeyFutures in 2025. Below are some of the thoughts from this collective brainstorming.
- Our focus is both local and global
- We are embedded in local communities, reporting on and holding local communities to account in developing solutions to their health needs
- We are privileging more voices, providing them with a useful platform for being heard and having impact
- We have funds to pay a diverse range of contributors
- We have contributed to training and education in public interest journalism (including web development and design) and public health
- An ARC research grant has informed our development
- We are providing strong leadership in public health and public interest journalism
- We are implementing a secession plan
- We have an Indigenous editor/editor-in-chief
- We have played a role in shifting the debate around the social determinants of health so that concerns for health and health equity are now centred in all policies, and public and policy debates have been transformed
- The Croakey connective has grown to become something bigger and more encompassing – it is a movement that people are part of and align with.
Of course, none of this will happen unless we can manage to achieve our “bottom line” goals, including that:
- Croakey is financially sustainable and has legal protection.
The points above represent our preliminary thoughts at the beginning of a journey to transition Croakey to a new governance and funding model.
We will be reaching out to readers, contributors and others for support and advice along this journey. (If you have thoughts for our 2025 vision, please let us know).
In the meantime, we are delighted to have the opportunity to participate in a Global Editors Network hackathon – “Connecting with Local Communities” in Sydney this Thursday and Friday. It is also supported by the Walkley Foundation and Google News Lab.
Dr Megan Williams, Mitchell Ward and Dr Melissa Sweet will develop a pitch relating to #CroakeyGO, our walking journalism project.
It’s perfect timing, following our recent #CroakeyGo in Albury, the day after our planning meeting (stay tuned for photos and report to come).
Watch interviews from #CroakeyFutures meeting
There had been more than 400 views of these videos on Periscope at the time of publishing this article.
We acknowledge and thank Amy Coopes and family for hosting our meeting in their home, and business consultant Paula O’Connell for donating her time and expertise to assist us.
Clearing our minds to create space for the future…