Australian unions have launched a beta version of an innovative new website which aims to provide a new voice for workers and other members of the community who do not see themselves represented in the traditional mainstream media.
Backed by the ACTU, Working Life is a new daily source of news, views and information – and some lighthearted entertainment – from throughout the union movement.
It aims to fill the gap for an opinion-driven website that looks at news, current affairs and lifestyle content from the perspective of Australian workers.
ACTU President Ged Kearney said Australia’s mainstream media was increasingly controlled by corporate interests, and the values of workers and their families were rarely reflected in mass-market newspapers, radio or television.
But she said new media offered the opportunity for progressive organisations like unions to become publishers in their own right, bypassing the mainstream media to reach out directly to readers and viewers.
“All too often, we only get one side of the story – the side that the big end of town wants us to know,” Ms Kearney said.
“We can sit and moan, or we can do something about it, using the tools now available from the social media and information revolution of the past decade.
“Working Life has been created for millions of Australians who share the values of Australian unions: a fair go, a decent day’s pay, a secure job and income, and time for a life outside of work.
“Our mission is to build an online community where a wide range of workers’ voices will be heard every day and to ensure we never stop agitating to give workers’ issues a more prominent place on the public agenda.”
Ms Kearney said an important feature of Working Life was to provide a place where union members and workers could discuss the issues of the day, through commenting and contributing to the website.
“We certainly don’t want the readership of Working Life to be passive,” she said.
“We want to hear from workers about what matters to them, what are the good and bad things they encounter in the workplace, and what they think of our campaigns.
“Working Life is a new platform for those views, sitting alongside Facebook and Twitter.”
Working Life is up and running now at www.workinglife.org.au