Unfortunately the media already had its mind made up on Nice. It had its mind made up in three ways. One - it was for a yes vote, newspapers like the Irish Times and the Irish Independent were giving over twice as much space to arguments for a Yes vote for much of the campaign*. Two - They thought the only issues worth discussing were enlargement, enlargement, enlargement and a sprinkling of neutrality and sovereignty. The issues LAN and others were trying to raise like corporate globalisation (Article 133), militarisation and fortress Europe were either ignored or given minimum coverage right at the end of the campaign. Three - they decided that the No side was best represented by Justin Barrett. Of course the purpose of all this was revealed when Barrett was shown to have links with neo-fascist groups in Germany, a shock horror story the media has been told for years.
Of course anarchists can hardly claim to be surprised by media bias. Understanding, as we do, that the media is almost exclusively owned and controlled by either the state or the very rich we can hardly expect it to give us a fair hearing on any consistent basis. Which is why anarchist groups publish papers like Workers Solidarity, to try and get our side of what is happening in this corrupt society out to as many people as possible.
The WSM is a small organisation which puts most of its resources into publishing and distributing this paper. Over the last couple of years many other activists have been helping us out by taking 10, 20 or 50 of each issue to distribute locally. This means we have been able to print 6,000 of each issue of the paper.
But the Nice referendum campaign shows what a drop in the ocean this is when it comes to combating a concerted campaign by the mainstream media. In this country, as in all others, almost all the major media outlets, newspapers, radio and TV are owned or controlled by wealthy individuals, corporations or the government. To combat this anarchists need to look ahead to a time when we have national daily circulation of our own newspaper as well as radio and even TV stations.
We are a long, long way from that point. But given the resources of the anarchist movement at the moment we could still greatly improve our current circulation. With that in mind the last WSM national conference decided to ask all the other anarchists and libertarians in Ireland to help us out.
We are asking people to commit to donating 5 or 10 Euro a month towards the cost of printing this paper and to take at least 50 of each issue to distribute. We don't just want your money and time though; we also want your input to make the paper better and to expand the range of stories we can cover. So anyone who becomes supporter of 'Workers Solidarity' will also be asked to attend an annual planning meeting and to elect two delegates onto our editorial group. If you have email you can ask to be added to the WS production email list where you can comment on articles submitted for publication and suggest topics for articles.
Over the next year we hope that at least a couple of dozen people will become supporters of this paper. In that case we will be able to expand production to 8 issues a year each with a print run of 8,000. This will still be tiny in comparison with the national media but will represent a doubling of the total number of copies printed and distributed each year. In turn we would hope some of the thousands of people who will get Workers Solidarity as a result will also choose to become supporters and so over the years we can build a circulation of tens or even hundreds of thousands. Help us take the first step, fill in the form below and become a supporter today.
Please send me 50/ _ _ _ copies of the next issue of the paper to distribute. I enclose my first months donation towards costs of 5/10/_ _ Euro.
(Send to WSM, PO Box 1528, Dublin 8, Ireland)
This edition is No73 published in November 2002