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Opinion/Multi-arts

How did we get here?

16 April 2021

Seesaw Magazine is pioneering a new way of producing professional arts journalism. Find out how you can support us and keep courageous, professional and independent journalism alive.

Hello reader,

As we are gearing up towards celebrating our fourth birthday this July, we are happily reflecting on Seesaw Magazine and the community we have built – thanks to you, our readers.

Seesaw was co-founded in 2017 by Varnya Bromilow and Nina Levy with a vision to ignite conversation about the arts among artists, audiences and the wider community. In 2018 editors Rosalind Appleby and Nina Levy scooped up renowned critics in arts journalism as well as a new generation of emerging arts writers, and now have a team of over 30 diverse scribes providing the most dedicated and comprehensive arts coverage in Western Australia. Branding the platform as Western Australia’s arts playground, Seesaw Magazine balances a sense of fun with rigorous journalism. 

We’ve not just filled the gap left by traditional media, but created something that reaches beyond the walls of elitism often perceived to be associated with the arts. With more than 50% of our readers aged 25-44, we are reaching the next generation of arts lovers in Western Australia. Seesaw Magazine has also developed partnerships with Scoop Magazine and Business News to reach people who may not be aware of WA’s rich and thriving arts sector.

The Seesaw team includes L-R: co-managing editors Rosalind Appleby and Nina Levy and business and marketing manager Gabrielle Sullivan. Photo supplied

Going professional

As a not-for-profit, incorporated association, Seesaw Magazine is pioneering new ways to fund professional journalism. In 2020 we began paying our editors and writers, thanks to backing from the arts sector, the State Government (Department of Local Government Sport and Cultural Industries) and philanthropic donations. But in order for Seesaw Magazine to be a courageous, professional and independent voice, it must be underpinned by a sustainable financial business model.

If you love what we do, buy us a coffee.

With Buy Us a Coffee we’re offering a new way for readers to support what we do. We promise it is a super simple way to make a one-off payment to support the Magazine.

We believe there is a future for arts journalism in WA. We have created an incredible 1133 articles exclusively for our readers over the past four years. At Seesaw Magazine we love the arts and want to ensure WA artists and audiences benefit from the continuity of journalism as a crucial part of the arts ecosystem. You can help us by browsing Seesaw Magazine, joining the conversation, sharing us with your friends and buying us a coffee. Together we are building a thriving arts community in Western Australia.

Why does this matter? 

It has become clear that a vital part of the life cycle of the arts is missing, and the impact is far-reaching. Here are three ways the breakdown of the traditional model of journalism has impacted Western Australians:

·   There is an absence of independent, informed opinion. Readers have lost those trusted voices – the holders of our cultural history – who often brought with them many decades of industry knowledge.

·   Artists and arts companies are experiencing a lack of exposure and documentation, and a breakdown in the reflective feedback loop.

·   There has been a significant loss of branding exposure for the businesses and individuals supporting the arts.

Other media outlets around the country have done similar things. In New South Wales a diverse array of arts writers gathered around two ex-Sydney Morning Herald writers in 2018 to form Audrey Journal, a platform for arts audiences. In Victoria Witness Performance  emerged in 2018 as a forum for independent critique and debate about the Australian performing arts.

If you appreciate independent arts journalism, come coffee with us! We always love hearing your thoughts and feedback on what you wish to see and read on Seesaw Magazine. Add your comments below. And follow us for a daily dose of arts and culture in WA on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Pictured top are Seesaw Magazine co-managing editors Rosalind Appleby and Nina Levy. Photo by Fionn Mulholland

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Rosalind Appleby

Author —
Rosalind Appleby

Rosalind Appleby is an arts journalist, author and speaker. She is co-editor of Seesaw Magazine, author of Women of Note, and has written for The West Australian, The Guardian, The Australian, Limelight magazine and Opera magazine. She loves the percussion instruments which can be found in the uber cool parks.

Past Articles

  • Ninety and still on song

    Australians aren’t known for celebrating arts history particularly well, but let’s defy cultural amnesia with a trip down memory lane with the University of Western Australia Choral Society as they prepare to celebrate their 90th birthday.

  • Road trip royalty arrive in the West

    The musical Priscilla Queen of the Desert premieres in Perth, celebrating diversity with lavish abandon, says Rosalind Appleby.

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