Earlier this year, Croakey asked readers to pitch ideas for new online publications covering an area of need in health. The idea was to select one for development during a workshop at the New News conference in Melbourne on August 25.

In all, 19 suggestions were put forward, covering a wide range of general and specific topics – including Web 2.0 and health, health inequalities and the social determinants of health, deafness, sexuality and young people, and public health and the law.

Many have real merit, having a strong public interest value and an identifiable community of interest.

I am pleased to report that we will work on developing an embryonic concept for a publication covering climate change and health, which was pitched by Fiona Armstrong of the Climate and Health Alliance. If you would like to attend the session (free), please order a ticket here.


How it will work

The session will begin with a brief introduction from:

• Content/community expert Fiona Armstrong 

• Media industry leader Paul Ramadge

• Digital news consultant Bronwen Clune

• Business development consultant Daniel May

Participants will divide into groups to develop:

• A community building strategy, led by Fiona Armstrong

• An editorial strategy, including sample story list, led by Paul Ramadge

• A digital news vision, led by Bronwen Clune

• A business development plan, led by Daniel May.


Each group will also be asked to provide three answers to the question: what next? (ie who should do what after this session to keep the process going).

Each group will nominate a scribe/blogger to provide a written report which will go into a compilation post.

The session will also be open to those unable to attend in person. If you would like to participate by long distance, please send me your email.

We have only an hour so we are not expecting miracles. But perhaps the session will prove to be the first steps on a journey to creating a worthwhile new publication.


For those not particularly interested in the topic of climate change and health, hopefully the session will have some broader general lessons for those interested in starting new publications.

For those who took the time to pitch ideas for the session – many thanks. Your ideas will also be featured during the workshop, and available for participants to read.

The New News conference is being held by the Centre for Advanced Journalism, in partnership with the Melbourne Writers Festival and the Public Interest Journalism Foundation, and supported by the Melbourne Press Club and Copyright Agency Limited.

Here are the details of other sessions at New News.

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