Today we’re gonna talk about Nonviolent Method number 10: Newspapers and Journals.
Now a lot of times through history, like with the Indian Independence Movement, you needed newspapers and journals to get the word out.
Gandhi had a paper called Young India that all the people who wanted Independence read. And it’s a good way for people to organize and keep people informed about the movement.
But now in modern America newspapers are basically dead. They’re all corporate-owned and slashing staff and even the New York Times and Washington Post are like “Oh, let’s cut our environmental coverage!”
But we’ve got all kinds of alternative press that we can use. We can use Blogs, Vlogs, and websites, and aim to get covered by the city sheets and campus press, and, if you can manage to get on it, even the Huffington Post. Good luck with that, by the way!
Otpor in Serbia relied on alternative press to get their messages out, but alternative newspapers are getting increasingly less alternative, due to new corporate ownership and their budget slashing.
Even campus press is now corporate owned, which is bullshit! “Oh, we’re the voice of the students and...Comcast.”
And by “city sheets”, I’m talkin’ about weekly papers like the LA Weekly, or Madison’s Isthmus, or Denver’s Westword, most cities have ‘em, but even they are now mostly corporate-owned, so they’re smaller with a lot less stories. So maybe you couldn’t get alternative press to cover you like you used to.
But who cares! We’ve got the internet! We can use blogs, vlogs, and websites to promote what we’re doing.
Now, it helps if you post every day. I frequently go to 350.org’s page, and read the post that they put up a week ago. People don’t keep comin’ back if it’s not every day. If you’re gonna lead the movement that’s one of the realities of how to communicate via the internet. I’m just startin’ to post everyday, it’s a pain in the ass, but you gotta do it.
One thing Bill McKibben did on his Do The Math tour is he got everybody’s phone number so he could just text out to ‘em when there’s something going on. Which is smart, I wish I could do that.
But still, the movement needs sites that post every day, because even if you’re not doing something every day there should always be something going on with the movement. Somebody should be doing something every day. I mean, we’re only trying to save the world, right? Today there should be something happening in Ann Arbor and Annapolis and Albuquerque. And tomorrow there should be something in Kalamazoo and Kansas City.
If actions are always happening everywhere, not only is it cool for people to read about but it gives them ideas too, and hopefully inspires them.
Another funny thing would be to have fake New York Times and Washington Post websites, where they’re like “Oops, we forgot to cover the most important story in the history of humanity. Our bad!”
Anyway, that’s Newspapers and Journals updated to the 21st century and the internet.
You gotta realize Gene Sharp wrote this book in, like, 1972, when there was like, just one giant computer. So it’s different now.