First, you may be interested to read what I wrote over ten years ago, in September 2008, in a piece titled Welcome to the Political Sword blog. The history of The Political Sword though goes back further.
It began when Possum Comitatus (aka Scott Steel) gave me my first opportunity to have a blog piece published - in July 2008 - on a political blog site he created: The Possum Box. The initial piece was titled: Is adversarial politics damaging our democracy? Sadly, adversarial politics is as rampant now as it was then! Here is the link to a recent replication of this piece.
The response that initial piece evoked gave me so much encouragement, I decided to create The Political Sword.
Times have changed so much since then. There is now a plethora of online political sites, so many that reading them all is beyond the time scope of most people. It is not surprising then that online comments on individual pieces are in short supply. Initially, TPS pieces attracted as many as 300 comments! Can you believe it? We noted at the time that the commentary on each piece morphed from offerings about the piece itself to an online chat among participants, who seemed keen to engage with each other.
Comments on TPS pieces are now quite limited; half a dozen is regarded as a good outcome. Some of you are regular commenters, for which we thank you.
A more satisfying statistic is the number who give our pieces a five star rating. Sometimes the number is as high as thirty!
By courtesy of our valued colleague Michael Taylor, who operates AIM - the Australian Independent Media Network, pieces from The Political Sword are reproduced on that site. Often, as many as thirty visitors to AIMN offer a comment. Michael’s clients are decidedly more communicative than are our own.
Which brings me to the point of this piece. What do you expect of TPS in 2021?
To begin, we ask you to enlighten us about how those who visit TPS might be persuaded to comment on the articles we offer, and thereby encourage those who take the time and effort to write for this blogsite.
Here’s another issue. There has been widespread discussion about the role of the mainstream media, print and online, much dissection of its offerings, much criticisms of the political stances it takes or declines to take, and much comment on the role and orientation of its journalists. There is uncertainty about what it should do, described so nicely in Bernard Keane’s Crikey article: Even the dumbest social media critics of journalism might have a point. It’s worth a read. We’d appreciate having your comments about it.
Where then does TPS stand?
We have no preordained views to promote. We examine political issues, both local and overseas, which have risen to prominence in both the mainstream and social media. We select those that we believe will be of interest to our readers. We seek to avoid partisan bias. We may not always succeed. We are neither rabid ‘lefties’ nor entrenched conservatives. We prefer to occupy the middle ground, because we believe most solutions to political issues reside there.
What then do you, the readers, expect of TPS in 2021? Your views will always be welcome. Polite, considered feedback is what we seek. Give it a try!