Celebrating five years of independent journalism

24 November 2022

Seesaw Magazine has reached a new milestone in our quest to ignite conversation about the arts in WA. Find out how you can support us and keep courageous, professional and independent journalism alive.

This year we are celebrating five years of producing independent arts journalism and we want to pause and reflect on the community we have built – thanks to you, our readers.

Back in 2017, it was clear to us that the decline of arts journalism had created a gaping hole in the arts ecosystem. So we launched Seesaw Magazine, to bridge the gap between artists and audiences.

Five years later, we provide the most comprehensive arts coverage in WA. Headed by editors Rosalind Appleby and Nina Levy, our team of more than 50 contributing writers includes some of our state’s most respected arts journalists. 

In our bid to ignite conversations about the arts in WA, Seesaw Magazine has published more than 2900 stories about local, national and international visual and performing arts events, including thousands of reviews of performances and exhibitions.

Seesaw Mag has become a one-stop arts shop for West Australians interested in what to see, with curated gig guides, Q&As with artists and feature articles about what’s coming up in WA.

We tell the stories of West Australian arts and artists through features, reviews and podcasts, delivering everything from in-depth analysis of issues facing our sector, to conversations with artists about their ideas and inspiration, to incisive and informed reviews of the latest shows, concerts and exhibitions.

In 2021 Seesaw Magazine’s top quality journalism was recognised at the WA Media Awards, when our contributor Mark Naglazas won the Kornweibel Arts Prize (for best Culture and Arts Report) for his three part series about the proposed Fremantle film studio.

A bold red wall is the back drop for two smiling women as they sit at a desk in front of microphones
The Seesaw managing editors Rosalind Appleby and Nina Levy during an interview on RTRFM.

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.

Our stories continue to attract new readers, with website visitors growing 20 to 25% annually, and 220% since our inception. In the past year we’ve had over 86, 000 unique visitors! 

First Nations arts

First nations arts and culture must be embedded in our public discourse. It’s vital for understanding ourselves and each other as Western Australians. We are committed to covering the work of First Nations artists and to amplifying First Nations voices. 

In 2022 we’ve already published 21 articles about First Nations artists and their work, with more to come. Of these, 16 were written by our mentored First Nations emerging critics.

This mentoring program was piloted in late 2019, in partnership with Perth Festival and Yirra Yaakin, and is currently running independently at Seesaw Mag. We are looking forward to expanding this program into visual arts in 2023. 

Staying afloat

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, please support us

We would love your support to celebrate our 5th birthday by making a tax deductible donation to 100 heARTS for Seesaw. We’re aiming to receive 100 donations of $100 (or more!)

We believe there is a future for arts journalism in WA. We have created nearly 3000 free articles for our readers over the past five years. You can help us by subscribing to our fortnightly Your Arts Playground enews, sharing us with your friends and making a donation. Together we are building a thriving arts community in Western Australia.

Why does this matter? 

When it comes to the arts, Western Australia punches above its weight. And that’s why Seesaw Magazine exists – to give WA’s vibrant arts sector the media coverage it deserves. On many occasions our reviews are the only media coverage a performance/exhibition will receive. Without Seesaw, artists and arts companies would miss out on exposure, documentation and important reflective feedback.

The decline in arts journalism has led to 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.

If you appreciate independent arts journalism, help us celebrate our fifth birthday and become one of Seesaw’s 100 heARTS for the arts.

You can also follow us for a daily dose of arts and culture on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn and subscribe to our fortnightly magazine The Arts Playground.

Pictured top are Seesaw Magazine co-managing editors Rosalind Appleby and Nina Levy at the State Theatre Centre. Photo Fionn Mulholland

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Author —
Rosalind Appleby

Rosalind is an arts journalist, author and speaker. She was co-managing editor and founding board member of Seesaw Magazine 2018 – 2023, is author of Women of Note, and has written for The West Australian, The Guardian, The Australian, Limelight magazine and Opera magazine (UK). She loves park percussion instruments.

Past Articles

  • Perth’s international organist

    Enticed from England 14 years ago by the Dean of St George’s Cathedral, Joseph Nolan’s impact on the local music scene has been significant. He chats with Rosalind Appleby about his latest overseas tour and why Perth audiences need to hear Handel’s Samson.

  • What to SEE: November gig guide

    Feel like a good laugh, a punk-rock school bus musical, or hunting for giants? All this plus more in this month’s guide to the very best of the West Australian arts scene.

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