January 25, 2003
NDP update/a new propaganda machine

After much speculation about a drawn out multi-ballot vote, Jack Layton won with more than 50%. In a wierd turn of events, a denial-of-service attack slowed down the internet voting, which was run by election.com. Local parties all over the country rented hotel rooms and set up computers so that folks could hang out, watch the speeches, discuss, and vote directly, which was pretty cool.

The latest NDP news. (from Google)

An NDP-run Newspaper?

In one of the more interesting bits that I previously missed, Jack Layton said that the NDP should buy a newspaper to make up for the national media's outright hostility to the party (except for the CBC, which continues to be a reasonable source of mostly balanced information).

Here's what I'd do. Get a budget together to pay for an editorial staff and layout team, with enough cash left over to pay some writers. Then, make connections with the student press, independent papers, magazines, indymedia types, and other scattered bits of lefty journalism, smack small but significant-enough financial incentives on quality, in depth stories and breaking news. Put together a good pile of reporting with attractive layout once a week, post it for free as a pdf. Leave space for local coverage and advertising, and sign up local activists or entrepreneurs to sell advertising and take care of printing and distribution. Take 25% of net revenues for the national editorial and layout office, let the locals keep the rest. Give the editors full independence (but hire folks who will actually cover the NDP), and try to break even. All the NDP needs to do is spend more time doing newsworthy things. If it works financially, hire more staff and crank it up to two or three issues a week.

The result: a national newspaper with cutting coverage, whose money goes to the people who do the work, not the shareholders (coz there aren't any), and the possibility of quality journalism.

(But it'll only work if they hire me as editor.)

It really bugs me that any millionaire could do this if they wanted to (heck, a dedicated group of folks with decent fundraising skills could do it), but instead we have the National Boast and the Global Male.

posted by dru in canada