Written by Claire Elise Suckling
In a tragic reflection of our time, the notion of quality, ethically sound journalism is regarded by the modern media consumer as non-existent, or at the very least, a laughable concept with little practical premise.
After seven months of studying journalism, I have given up on trying to convince cynics that the world of journalism and its questionable ethical practices are evolving, into something new, something better.
Now I simply show them the South Australian website that has already become a huge part of this change. It’s called Our World Today.
Mike Worsman and Chris Campbell are two empowered, young UniSA journalism graduates with passion, drive and the ability to inspire. Together they founded the non-for profit organisation on November 2, 2010 and officially launched the news website on August 1, of this year.
“We both agreed that the media had a draining effect on society, in that after watching a news bulletin or reading a paper it is impossible to feel inspired or like you could help in any way to improve the world,” said Mike.
“When seven billion of us wake up each day, the vast majority of us do so naturally with intentions of bettering our world, yet for all of our daily achievements, discoveries, compassion and love, we are bombarded with little other than war, death, hate and depression.”
Since the launch date, their passion has inspired over 80 journalists around Australia to volunteer their time and minds to generate articles and videos that encapsulate emotion, heart and true human spirit.
OWT creates news that can make your day, make you reconsider your perspective on life and make you think about the world around you and your role within it.
“Such news could have the potential to inspire, and if one person connects with the website and thinks to themselves, ‘Wow, I could make a difference’, then that person’s mind is changed, and the flow of a new mind set will slowly sweep across society,” said Chris.
The demise of ethical journalism can be correlated with the increasingly competitive nature of global business. Rupert Murdoch has proved that being driven by greed places a power in the wrong hands, which has leads to over sensationalised news and in the most recent, News of the World case, defying the law.
Mike and Chris acknowledge the magnitude of striving to compete with Murdoch. However, in a true reflection of their robust ambition and positive attitudes, they reinforce the fact that Adelaide is where Murdoch launched his empire, so why can’t they, (albeit in a very different fashion).
“By being not for profit, we illustrate that the media does not have to be about making money, and with that comes a sense of freedom in journalism, the ability to tell the stories you care for, the truth, unrestricted ideals and a chance for change,” said Chris.
Even their office is a revelation! Situated off Rundle Street, OWT staff and volunteers are able to draw further inspiration form the art work around them in the world’s first news gallery. A space chosen by Mike and Chris due to its character and proximity to the heart of the CBD’s colourful East End.
Our World Today is a huge stepping stone in altering society’s view on journalists, the quality of information that they present and the ability for the truth to be accepted for what it is, and it is so inspiring to know that it is starting right here in South Australia.
“I think society is sick of the image of itself that the media reflects, but with nothing else out there it is hard for anyone to make the change – well not anymore, there is an alternative,” said Chris.
“Of course it has been a gamble, and with something like this not everything is going to go to plan, but when you are as passionate about something as we are, there is nothing that can stand in our way,” said Mike.
Check out www.ourworldtoday.com.au to find out more information about Mike, Chris, the OWT philosophy and the fantastic stories contributed by their volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering, you can also find more information here or contact Mike on 0414248072.