On Line Opinion

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On Line Opinion, or Online Opinion, is an open access electronic journal, specialising in social and political debate. The journal is published in Australia, although content is not necessarily limited to Australian issues, and extends at times to publication in wider areas, such as, religion, ethics, and philosophy.


On Line Opinion was established in 1999 by political commentator Graham Young.[1] Since then, On Line Opinion has become recognized as one of the leading examples of alternative journalism[2] and citizen journalism.[3] In 2012, the report of the Independent Inquiry into Media and Media Regulation by the Hon Raymond Antony Finkelstein QC stated that: "While the start-up costs for new print publications have been prohibitive and inhibited new enterprises emerging, the streamlining of the relationship between content producers and consumers has led to many new websites and web-based services. Among the most important such websites that have grown up in Australia over the last decade are Inside Story, Australian Policy Online, Online Opinion, The Drum, The Conversation, and New Matilda."[4] The journal is referenced by the Australian National Library,[5] with ISSN 1442-8458.[6]


On Line Opinion was founded as an experiment in participatory democracy, through the means of participatory journalism.[1] The contributors to On Line Opinion constitute a wide range of writers, such as what might be described as high-profile contributors, including politicians and academics, and what might be called ordinary citizens, that is, those with no particular public profile.[7] One of the motivations behind On Line Opinion was to address the limitations of academic publishing, and thus On Line Opinion aims to publish accessible material, sometimes called grey literature, on a more timely basis and with a wider audience, than would otherwise be the case. Research has suggested that, in comparative terms, publication within On Line Opinion is indeed more timely than is the case with other citizen journals, with on average five new articles per day appearing on the website.[8]


  1. ^ a b Flew, T. and G. Young. 2004. 'If they come they will build it: Managing and building e-democracy from the ground up'. Proceedings of the Australian Electronic Governance Conference.
  2. ^ Forde, S. 2011. Challenging the News: The Journalism of Alternative and Community Media. p9. 2011. Basingstoke: Palgrave Higher Education. ISBN 978-0230243569
  3. ^ Taylor, A. and J. Cokley. 2013. 'How citizen journalism websites are working in Australia: news and discussion'. Ejournalist: a Refereed Media Journal. Vol.13, No.2.
  4. ^ Finkelstein, R. March 2012. Report of the Independent Inquiry into the Media and Media Regulation. Retrieved 19/2/16.
  5. ^ Australian National Library Catalogue: See http://catalogue.nla.gov.au/Record/4395745.
  6. ^ Australian Public Affairs Information Service, Electronic Journals and Conferences
  7. ^ See list of authors at: http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/author.asp
  8. ^ Taylor, A. and J. Cokley. 2013. 'How citizen journalism websites are working in Australia: news and discussion'. Ejournalist: a Refereed Media Journal. Vol.13, No.2. p.12

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