The Global mail has launched in the last few days to quite a bit of excitement and a slab of content and editorial has been gobbled up by the www surfers of the world.

This may be an important and lasting change in the realm of quality online journalism and publishing (especially within the Aussie sphere… for has been an awful celebri-sham for many years… and many other options have been worse).

The Arts section made me pause on the first morning that we (the general public) were able to devour the Global. It spoke to (and allowed appropriate space to explore) the difficulties of modern criticism in the theatre and the rise of the independent and often caustic reviewers cropping up through the ease of (at times) anonymous blog publishing (and the viral nature of many social media connections).

shit on your play is at times a particularly venomous blog spot that is central to the Global article. But rather than simply refer obliquely to the blog with two juicy quotes and a comment from an opposing point of view… they serve up pages of exploration, little side roads and multiple voices. The beauty of the online publishing platform! They have the column space and a lack of silly limits so they use it to the best ends and deliver plain language investigation and engagement with us, the readers.

And suddenly here sits another little avenue out to Robert Adams that sent me scurrying to the bookshelf for his little paperback Beauty in Photography. In the essay ‘Civilising Criticism’ he addressed any number of shortcomings in the unnecessarily nasty criticism that at times borders on vengeance and retaliation. But further into the piece he writes:

“I sometimes dream of an ideal photographic journal, perhaps distributed on microfiche so that we can all afford it. In my imagination it is assembled in somebody’s garage in the Midwest. It is a magazine devoted to successful work, because that is all we have time for; it is a journal notable for its tact and lucidity, and it is full of pictures because they are the point. We might just take our cue from man Ray’s friends and call is Good News. And we won’t allow ourselves to be labelled sentimentalists, because our title does not imply that good news in the short run comprises the news or even most of the news. In fact, we may note editorially that our attention to good news is evidence of our pessimism, our belief that good news is rare and that we cannot afford to overlook any of it.”

Is this where we have landed following the long sail boat ride of the last decade? Is our small garage-built journal now a reality through the wonderfully diverse options available online? We are certainly in exciting times with this new venture.

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