Back again... more on recruiting...

Right, after a very stretched week, my time is my own again (pretty much), and the good thing is it stays that way for the next three weeks smile.

So, where was I? Ah yes the solutions to lack of personnel. Well to be honest we never really have solved this problem 100%. There have been upwards of 20 people who have volunteered to help out in editorial roles, of whom maybe ten were serious (and more importantly, willing to ac tually work rather than sit around on their arse) over the last two years.

Some of those did manage to help out for a few weeks, while others simply weren't easy enough to contact properly to make it practicable (eg. they couldn't make it into the office, wouldn't write, and the problem with those who volunteer to sub is that when there aren't enough writers there's simply no room to have another time delay between writing and layout - even if they are 100% reliable).

But the major problem was pressure. Very few people understood when they started getting involved exactly how much work it was going to be. Asked to do a couple of articles or fill space every two weeks on a page, on top of everything else that was going on in their lives, it was rare for people to last longer than a couple of months before throwing in the towel.

This was particularly worrying for me, as my tactic has generally been to give people something nice and easy to start with to gague whether they can be relied on to do the more difficult stuff later. The technique is also a good test of ego - if someone refuses to help with the mailout or write an article because 'I want to be an editor not a writer/envelope stuffer' it's almost a dead cert they're going to be a shit editor (how can you edit what you can't/won't write?), and from a personal point of view I feel that kind of attitude has no place in any anarchist publication. It's a test which a surprisingly large number of people have failed.

Briefly, we did manage to pull together a full battery of editors and subs, but this broke apart quickly. In the meantime, Freedom runs largely on pieces independently sent in by or commissioned from a (thankfully growing) battery of writers who are becoming more expert in their various fields as they go on, and most recently with myself on one issue and the new editor on the other.

Posted By

Rob Ray
Oct 30 2006 13:11

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