The situation is always the same. The executive is the “Asia-Pacific vice president” or the “global general manager of operations”, they’re in Australia for a week to check up on their local division, and they take a day or so out to talk to the press.
My standard first question is always: “So, how are you liking Australia so far?”
From here their response can go one of two ways.
75 percent of people say something polite about the nice weather and beaches, the dangerous creatures and the short distance to Asian markets.
But it’s the other 25 percent that I like.
These are the people who get a little excited gleam in their eye. “It’s bloody awesome!” they exclaim, or proclaim similar words to that effect.
They then proceed to tell me how they have already fallen in love with Australia after only a few days here. The weather is amazing. The food is fantastic, the wine as good as you can buy in France. The people are “so laid back” and you can even go for Friday drinks with your competitors because everyone just gets on so well.
They’ve probably gone on a power jog around Sydney Harbour and realised that for a modest sum they can buy a decent-sized boat and take it out on the water every weekend, while still making their sales targets during the week.
They’ve realised, in short, what most Australians realise. We’re blessed to live in one of the best countries in the world. We have enough of everything, and not too much of anything. I’ve seen several members of this 25 per cent go out of their way to get transfers Down Under, or when that fails, leave their job overseas for one in Australia.
The reason that I’m starting Delimiter (and may launch other sites in the future) is that like that 25 per cent, I love Australia. While I do follow international news, what I’m really fascinated with is Australia’s technology sector in all its facets (IT, telco, gaming, consumer gadgets and so on). I’ve worked in that sector myself.
I wanted to found a site that would cover that sector in minute detail. A site that would tell the stories of Australians, for an Australian audience.
Also, just one more thing.
I’m going to make all of the content on Delimiter available for other publishers to license for a flat fee, in a similar model to the one used by ‘wires’ services like Australian Associated Press and Reuters.
It is my hope that by doing so, other Australian technology publishers will be able to reinvest in quality investigative journalism in the local market and stop competing for the scraps of basic coverage any more.
There’s been too much doom and gloom about Australia’s journalism industry in the past 12 months, and it’s time to look towards a stronger future together. One where Australian journalists get back to our job of holding the nation’s rich and powerful to account — and even gently teasing them about their foibles.
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