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The opinion pages of our major newspapers and news websites are dominated by a relatively small set of voices. Professional columnists, paid spruikers and a select group of approved experts have a monopoly on political and social analysis. Occasionally a fresh voice will break through – but by and large it’s a closed shop.

The recent demise of ABC’s The Drum website has further reduced the amount of diversity in political commentary. This, without any doubt, is bad thing for our democracy. In the Internet age, however, it doesn’t need to be this way. Anyone with a computer and a carefully considered argument can get published on a blog site, and their work can distributed directly to the masses via social media.

The Bugle has been established to give a platform for Australian civil society. We want to provide a voices for community sector, the union movement, volunteer organisations, and other groups that are denied a place on the mainstream. We want to provide thoughtful analysis, and sharp critiques and controversial ideas. We want to provide the intellectual fertilser for a flourishing democracy.

Of course we’ll also give space to political figures from across the spectrum, because we want to engage in the big debates. But most of all, we want to hear from you.

So if you’ve got 600-900 words of compelling text on an important political or social issue – based of fact and reason – that itching to get published. We’re not after rants, and we’re not in the business of slagging people off, but we are the business of ideas.

I hope you enjoy The Bugle. Read us, comment on us, contribute to us, and share us.

Because its not just our bugle, it’s your bugle, and we’re inviting you to blow it!

Stewart Prins

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