Working Class Resistence - Organise!

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jack white
Joined: 7-04-05
Mar 12 2006 13:30
Working Class Resistence - Organise!

Hi folks,

I got the latest WCR at the bookfair and after reading it I was struck by the fact that some of the articles would be really suited to a newsheet or leaflet (esp. the 'Hains vision' one).

So I was wondering why WCR is produced in the format it is? What were the factors that influenced yer decision, what the advantages of it are? Obvioulsy you can fit a mx of article types into a magazine so I guess thats one reason. How many copies do ye do, is it easy to distribute it etc?


Jack White

(p.s. - argument avoiding disclaimer - I'm not saying that it shouldn't be the way it is or that ye should do a freesheet or anything else, just looking for yer views) black bloc

Joined: 2-10-04
Mar 12 2006 20:55

My own thoughts on this:

First off I suppose the magazine really evolved from a free sheet. The first two were actually called Wildcat and were joint AF Ireland/ASF 4 page efforts.

Up until issue 8 we produced WCR as a free 8 page bulletin which was meant to come out every two months (actually I think we were quite good at sticking to that) but it kinda got bigger all on its own. Issue nine had to go to 16 pages and around then we decided to take it further and shift to a quarterly magazine format, Issue 10 had 24 pages and the current issue has the 32 page format that we'd like to stick with.

We had discussed producing a free bulletin along with a magazine at our last Congress but it doesn't really look like we'll be able to do both (financially or written contribution wise) for a while. We have a relatively small print run and we are just about covering costs with increased distribution. Of course distribution hasn't increased quite as much as we'd have liked but the free sheet didn't recoup (sp?) any of the money spent on it and too many of them ended up on the ground with numerous other political flyers and leaflets at the end of a demo. People are less likely to chuck something thats glossy and well produced (which we aim to be believe it or not) particularly if they've paid for it.

People are willing to pay for it and the latest issue has done even better in the few outlets that stock it than the previous two, so it looks like people have started to look for it. There is always gonna be an element of hit and miss with the amount of sales being linked to some extent to the amount of events and demos going on but things seem to be going quite well. Also, places that wouldn't stock it as a free sheet do carry the mag.

The range of articles is important. Some shorter articles may be also suited to a freesheet, others are more in depth and too long. We aim to have both - its not really a theoretical journal but we are trying to avoid stuff with a short 'shelf life'. There are a couple of articles that we'd have rather had been longer/more in depth and which may appear a bit too newsy for a magazine format, particularly the Joanne Delaney article and the Posties Belfast Wildcat one - but they were written right on the deadline as the issues came up and we didn't want to have nothing on two extremely important issues that we were involved in supporting.

So the mix of articles, production and money are factors, as is the recognition that people are more likely to read something they've paid for and looks well produced, its also easier to get certain outlets to stock it with a cover price that they are getting some money back on. And money again is a factor in terms of us producing a magazine but not a regular free sheet.

Having said that I think it'd be great to see the Hain's Vision - Our Nightmare piece made into a leaflet, thanks for the suggestion.

On the down side recent increases in distribution have sorta been offset by the regrettable closure of Red Ink in Dublin - we also need to sort out distribution to Connolly Books and Books Upstairs. The problem with distribution in the south is currency related and even though the Ulster Bank has branches in Dublin they (and everyone else) still charge extortionate amounts for most forms of payment that have to convert Euro to Sterling.

Does that answer any of yer questions? Thanks for the comments. What did you think of the mag over all?


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