Politifact Australia to enter ‘hiatus’ period



Politifact Australia has stopped uploading content to the fact-checking website until commercial backing is found, editor Peter Fray has confirmed.

Speaking on the 2SER radio program Fourth Estate, Fray confirmed the site he launched in May would enter an undetermined hiatus period as he seeks funding.

Fray originally funded the site himself and had partnered with Fairfax Media and the Seven Network during the Federal Election campaign, but as those partnerships came to an end the lack of funding forced the operation to downsize.

“It’s a terrible thing but as we’ve flagged several times, we’ve sort of run out of funding,” he said. “There has been a lot of innovation this year and Poilitifact is a part of that, but one of the things it needs to sustain it is more of a culture of innovation that is funded and we can’t all rely on people like Graeme Wood, and Morry Schwartz.”

Wood funded the launch of The Global Mail and The Guardian Australia, and Schwartz will launch of The Saturday Paper next year.

Fray, the former publisher and editor-in-chief of The Sydney Morning Herald, said he will continue to explore funding models over the next few months. He also said he has been in talks with investors in India and New Zealand about potentially launching Politifact there.

Fray said he has asked the holders of the US Politifact title to extend the licence for Politifact Australia for another three months or more, to give him more time to raise funding. In the meantime the site will be dormant, with the archives available online, but no new activity on the site.

“One thing we have learned in the digital age is that you need content, you need interaction, and you need to have an ongoing conversation with the audience, so if we’re not doing that we won’t expect a lot of love the other way, which is fair enough,” Fray added.


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