Freedom: logistics.

As I've already said, recruitment has caused no end of problems due to my position and that of the rest of the press. Freedom needs a lot of work to function, only some of which is the usual writers and editors dilemma. among the major jobs are:

- Editorial (really I've gone into what this requires at length, though I shall come back to it).
- Layout. Not just of the paper, but for the publishing arm as well. For context, even a skeleton staff on a single daily would require eight or more subs working flat out, not including advertising, which would double that number. If it were to add books, pamphlets, etc, it would push the necessary number into the high 20s. At Freedom, this is all done by one person. Who sometimes has to get other jobs to pay the bills (we can't afford to pay them ful-time wages).
- Distribution. Again, this isn't just the paper, but books and our booklists as well. Most mainstream publications hand this over to major distribution networks whose sole function is this, but partly due to the need for security for our mailout lists, and partly due to costs relating to our small scale, we do it with a couple of volunteers coming in every other Tuesday (though this used to be done largely by the layout person).
- Marketing is another job in itself, and something which we simply don't have. We don't have anyone making up press releases, we don't have anyone making calls to place our literature, we don't have marketing. This is, frankly, a major contributory factor to our poor outreach.
- Shop staff. Usually done by one person, but really requires several reliable volunteers if it's going to stay open. The one person who does it (basically full time, but for bog-all wages) has in the past also done the mailout, along with...
- IT, another of those little jobs which has become increasingly vital and which we can't afford to pay for.
- Archiving. By law, everything we produce must be archived, and of course for the sake of repurposing, reusing, research etc, we have to be able to steer people in the right direction, Currently I do this for Freedom.
- Admin is another biggie, again largely done by the layout person at the moment. We get letters, requests, we have to deal with bills, chase invoices, keep people informed about what's going on, the works really. We don't actually have a dedicated admin person.
- Accounts, of course, have kind of slipped as up until about a month ago, we didn't have anyone really working on them bar someone who would do a rough update and berate us about how crap our accounts were and how much money we were losing. Fortunately, oisleep has stepped in like a champion smile.

So yeah, all in all I'd suggest a team of 20 people or so (assuming the low end of layouts and distribution - we are a model of efficiency after all) to run the show we're trying to do properly on a volunteer level. Not including writers or editors for the paper. Then we could really go places.

Posted By

Rob Ray
Oct 18 2006 12:11

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