People sometimes ask me while selling Green Left "In this day and age, why even have a newspaper?".
The nature of print media is changing and most commercial newspapers and magazines are currently suffering an existential crisis. Many advertisers that traditionally used print have made the leap to digital media. The columns of classifieds, once referred to as the rivers of gold, are now drying up and newsrooms are shrinking along with the quality of journalism.
These days many people, including most young people, get their news from their phones, computers or tablets and don't read anything much on paper.
While this is all true and we certainly want to improve our web presence, it ignores the fact that the quality of the articles on the website is directly related to the high writing and production standards of the newspaper. There is a symbiotic relationship between the paper and website.
Green Left has never been about advertising. Our message would not sit easily alongside ads selling cheap mass-produced goods to the masses. Necessity has meant fundraising for our survival has always been at the core of our project.
Our paper is a grassroots tool, especially at rallies and protests but even on the streets. A newspaper allows us to meet people face-to-face and take our message to a much wider audience. More importantly, it allows us to interact with people in ways that are not possible with social media. While we're certainly looking for ways to increase our knowledge of and participation in the social movements using technology, a newspaper is still one of the best ways to do this.
Next year will be Green Left Weekly's 25th year of production. In that time we've built up a lot of experience and credibility. We were one of the first Australian political websites and to this day continue to offer all our content for free. We are always seeking to expand and improve, for example with Green Left TV and the recent move to full colour print.
While we have updated and improved the look of the paper, the website is looking decidedly Web 1.0. We're currently in the process of updating the Green Lef website. There is still a lot to be worked out. As the website is tied to the production of the paper, we cannot simply switch to a new version and work out the kinks as we go. We need to make sure that the new site is ready before going live so as not to interrupt the workflow.
The reasons we started the paper 25 years ago — fighting against war, poverty, austerity and environmental destruction — are still current today. Our message to the 99% is the antithesis of the message of our corporate overlords and the mindless, individual consumerism offered by the mainstream media and advertising industry. Our message is that change is possible and if we want a better world we must struggle for it.
We also need our readers, supporters and subscribers to share articles much more on social media. That is something that can be done right now. We are looking at ways to make this easier with the new site, but liking and sharing articles on social media is a great way to support Green Left now. If you read an article you like get on to social media and like and share it around. It helps us get our message out and grow our web of support.
Contributing to the paper helps the website and vice versa. That's why we need your help, donating means we can devote more resources to the website upgrade, speeding the process along. You can do this by donating to the GLW fighting fund on the toll-free line at 1800 634 206 (within Australia). Donations can also be made to Green Left Weekly, Commonwealth Bank, BSB 062-006, Account no. 00901992. Otherwise you can send a cheque or money order to PO Box 394, Broadway NSW 2007.