The ultimate Anarchist newpaper would be...

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Rob Ray
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May 28 2004 07:21
The ultimate Anarchist newpaper would be...

I was thinking about this the other day, and reckoned it'd be interesting to ask what everyone else's views on the pefect makeup of a sixteen page national Anarchist newspaper would be? As an example I'll put down what I decided on:

Front page: Biggest story of the week from an anarchist perspective, or if a good investigative piece shows up then that as headline, big stories underneath.

Page 2: Event diary

Page 3: Cartoon, and satirical articles/funnies

Page 4+5: Britain news + in brief

Page 6+7: International news + in brief

Page 8+9: Features

Page 10: News from the world of business (of interest to Anarchs), or for preference, decent adverts.

Page 11: Theory explained and historical features.

Page 12: Reviews of Anarchist-related stuff

Page 13: Reviews of non-political entertainment

Page 14+15: Editorial and letters

Page 16: Prisons or Obits, listings and the inevitable appeal for funds/subscriptions.

NB// Yes this is partially based on Freedom, though no that doesn't mean anyone's considering doubling the size of it atm, it's a hypothetical only.

ClassWar
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May 28 2004 08:45

No sport?

What a grey publication without it!

rich
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May 28 2004 12:07

You don't need sport - it is the only thing the media can't lie about - too many witnesses!

I think its good to have part of it on organising, skill sharing for the groups. (Though I imagine if the circulation became massive this would have to be omitted and have its own bulletin.) This means that it has an immediate practical value in addition to the "interest in affairs and analysis" value. (This would probably be taken out of the letters/features bit).

Otherwise i like the set up Saii suggested.

Tom A
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May 29 2004 11:50

So who would cover sporting events in an anarchist society?

rich
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May 29 2004 17:30

I was thinking more along the lines of this being the ultimate paper for right now, when corporate coverage of sport is quite good, so there's no real need for us to spend time on it. (IMO). If it was the ultimate newspaper for in an anarchist society, I imagine it would be alot like the mainstream newspapers are now - bigger, with lots of space to cover everything under the sun, rather than struggling on a tiny budget as an oppositional paper.

Augusto_Sandino
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May 29 2004 21:23

You have to have sport. Say it was Football, you could report on all the divisions 1 to 3 matches, you cant say that division 3 teams get much coverage. And you would have to make it Tabloid size, this will sound stupid but its a bit more working class and its just more practical to be honest.

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Rob Ray
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May 31 2004 10:46

Only problem is that even just taking division 3 you'd need several people out every matchday to do the reports, as well as enough money/time to go through every paper to rip off whatever you could for the next edition, just to do a half-decent job of it. Sport is an extremely labour-intensive service. Usually on regional papers - just dealing with one main team and local sport - the sportsdesk is as big as the news one.

But it's true that a bit of sport on the back page would proably be a good idea, I know loads of people who only get papers for the sport. The only sensible way to do it would be as a token roundup, perhaps with features and invterviews as page lead. It's difficult to do more with a weekly or fortnightly paper on a non-existent budget.

Kalashnikov_Blues
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May 31 2004 17:34

You could only report on teams such as St Pauli and Celtic, or highlight anti fash groups of hooligans.

Not that I would normally encourage sport reporting cuz it bores me to death.

Also if the UK ever got an anarcho team off the ground, it could just be about them...

code_blue_suspect
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Jun 4 2004 15:36

An Anarchist football team? now THEREs an idea. Though it would be pretty hard to stop players from goin to other sides, stoppin them puttin politics before football i mean. And could you realy devote an entire section just to one team? Wouldnt be too interesting i think.

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Jacques Roux
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Jun 4 2004 17:38

There's a thread in the london forum about starting a football thingy in london i think...

Having sport reporting in a serious anarchist newspaper would be a really bad idea. I hate how they put sport in regular newspapers... its hardly fucking news just hyped up spectatorism for the 21st century work work work work ethos.

Mr. T

Mike Harman
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Jun 4 2004 17:50

You could comment on how much the new managers/players for xx club are getting paid compared to the people making replica kits/stickers/posters/mugs/lighters in xx country.

The Blast
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Jun 5 2004 12:26
Quote:
Front page: Biggest story of the week from an anarchist perspective, or if a good investigative piece shows up then that as headline, big stories underneath.

Biggest story for who? Quite often what is made in to the biggest story is as much of an issue as the perspective from which it is covered. There would be no point in having whatever crap has gone on on big Brother reported from an anarchist perspective. Even writing articles slating such shite as Big Brother totally means that the paper would still be following the capitalist media's agenda.

Likewise, the imminent elections are the big story of this week as the outcome might make a difference to their lives of the upper and middle class people who run and own the capitalist media. It ought not to be a big story in anarchist papers as it is an irrelevance to our constituency.

The "biggest story of the week" in most people's lives is more likely to be the fact that their car stereo was stolen, that they have got to wait 3 months for an operation or that they got a threatening letter from a firm of bailiffs.

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Steven.
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Jun 5 2004 22:02

Oh sad

We wanted to do a big brother story this week... about ktten not being an anarchist sad

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Rob Ray
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Jun 14 2004 20:12

I think that's an argument for another time Blast, hopefully in the theory section with the rest of the interesting but ultimately off-track stuff. The idea was not to have a debate about the meaning of news in a national paper and its lack of relevance to local people (the phrase 'well duh' springs to mind), but on how the page layout could be done in an engaging way.

Augusto_Sandino
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Jun 15 2004 19:37

No theatre or Fashion if possible. I was reading the Guardian at work, and i was thinking "this wouldnt be so bad if they werent a social-democratic newspaper and then published the most pretentious, high-culture crap in the middle!"

The Blast
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Jun 17 2004 08:44

Sorry if I was a bit off topic Saii, though

Quote:
how the page layout could be done in an engaging way.

is not an issue to be seperated off from other editorial decisions. Together with what issues are covered and how they are covered it is part and parcel of the overall "package" that constitutes a paper. This all gives the reader an impression of where the paper is coming from politically. It would hardly make sense for the content of an early issue of Class War to be layed out in the style of a mainstream broadsheet. Punk and football zines are another stark example of how layout isn't about just engaging people, but that ideas can be got across through the visual style of the paper.

PS. How are Health care, crime and the use of bailiffs "local" issues? Don't mean to persist in being irrelevant, but i'm interested to know.

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Rob Ray
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Jun 18 2004 08:20

Style and content are not the same thing, particularly on big newspapers. The Independant for example recently changed - very successfully - to tabloid format. The reader of a newspaper rarely percieves a link between style and content, except in the most cursory way (e.g. Big, one/two word headlines in Arial Black are likely to be tabloid, smaller, lengthy ones broadsheet).

What people do like is consistency, so once the format is decided it is kept to for long periods. That way they can if they wish flick to whatever section interests them most. Although layout is important to the extent that a colourful, well designed page will draw people in, it is not an integral part of newspaper content.

I don't recall a single instance when I've looked at a paper and said I agree with its content because it looks on the page like I should do. As such my question was what sort of weighting each section should have in a paper (e.g. should britain have more space, should features have less etc), what specific issues could have regular pages (e.g prisons, community struggle), rather than the content of the stories themselves (which frankly can't be decided until the actual day, because we have no idea what the news could concievably be til then) or the look of the thing.

I wasn't aware that anybody had even mentioned health care or bailiffs on this thread - though I'd imagine specific local hospitals and bailiff companies and what they're currently doing in the community would be considered extremely important by many people I know.