Problems continue at The Global Mail

29 May

Two weeks after Monica Attard left The Global Mail, following internal conflicts between her and staff coming to a head, the website launched with much fanfare in February appears no closer to sorting out its problems.

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An Alexa search on the site shows traffic a fraction of what it was on launch, with the downward trend exhibiting no signs of abating.

While Attard was accused of not subjecting staff to deadlines, it’s hard to know what has changed with not even one story a day published by its accomplished team of journalists.

Resources should not to be the problem with The Global Mail boasting a staff of 22, 13 of which are listed as correspondents and other staff such as web producer Joel Tozer doubling up as reporters.

Interestingly it is Tozer’s work which has been recognized as a finalist in the Walkley Young Journalist of the Year, with a nomination for a series of stories he wrote with Sharona Coutts on aged care and patient safety.

But with junior staff on a rumoured salary of $80,000 perhaps it’s not too much to ask.  Senior writers are said to be on $140,000 with  the only directive to focus on ‘good writing’.

CEO Jane Nicholls took over editing the site from Attard, with sources confirming that Nicholls has said they are not looking to appoint an editor immediately.

Instead The Global Mail has advertised for a “savvy web producer” – though continuing to rely on web producers for content seems like a wayward strategy.

Entrepreneur and philanthropist Graeme Wood allegedly pledged $15 million over five years to The Global Mail, though it’s not known what caveats, if any, exist on that funding.

It’s anyone’s guess as to whether he will keep that commitment given the sites dramatic leadership collapse and apparent inability to recover from its problems.

Meanwhile there must be a few experienced Australian journalists, with a better understanding of online, who could do a lot more with Wood’s money.

It seems that in hiring the staff of mainly broadcast journalists someone forgot to mention there is no immediate audience at the switch of a button. Blink and they’re gone.

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