The King's Tribune ceased publishing in September 2014.
What is the King's Tribune?
It has evolved into a online magazine covering Australian politics, media and culture. We are interested in the topics not covered properly (or at all) by the mainstream media and finding ideas, information and analysis that's a little off the beaten path.
The Tribune has no advertisers and no source of income other than our subscribers - we truly are independent media.
The very first issue of The King’s Tribune, in November 2007, was an in-house newsletter for our local wine bar, The King of Tonga.
It was a double sided A4 page intended to keep the denizens of the bar up to date with who had been sin-binned, why someone played a coathanger at the Air Guitar comp and whether anything was happening in the world outside.
After a few months The Tribune moved out of the bar and appeared in cafes, bars and laundromats around St Kilda and Elwood. In the beginning we concentrated on local stories but larger issues of politics, media and general pop culture started creeping in.
Outside the bar
We expanded the distribution of the free print version to cafes and restaurants all over Melbourne, but funding it through advertising started to be a problem. Advertisers were understandably concerned about controversial topics and the conflict of having the editor also in charge of selling advertising space adverting sales became unmanageable.
In October 2010 we started selling the full size magazine through newsagents. We dropped advertising space completely – other than for projects that involved our regular writers – and funded the magazine entirely through sales and subscriptions.
The scattergun approach to magazine selling was costly. Printing costs were high, distribution was complex and prone to error, and publication delay meant we couldn’t take on any issue-of-the-day topics. So, like many other publications, we gave up on print media and moved to on-line only.
We still ask a minimal ($5 per month) subscription fee from our readers.
We continue to eschew advertising and we pay all our writers. Because writers should be paid. Because you can’t really get good content without paying for it.
Good writers need to have the time to research, think, write and re-write, occasionally they need to eat and pay rent. That’s getting harder and harder to do.
At the same time it’s getting harder and harder to find strong, intelligent analysis and satire of politics, media and current affairs.
There’s probably a connection.
We depend on subscribers for all our funds. So if you read The Tribune articles regularly, please consider subscribing. It’s only $5 a month but without the support of the people who love what we do, we can’t continue to do it.