'Morning Star' relaunched
By Frank Noakes
BLACKPOOL — Britain's only alternative daily paper, the Morning Star, was relaunched here on September 9, at the annual Trade Union Congress.
The newspaper has been in production for over 60 years. But with the collapse of the Soviet Union, which bought nearly half of the Star's production run, circulation fell to around 7000, calling its survival into question.
The well-known journalist John Pilger issued a plea for public support of the Star, saying, "No other daily paper rescues from media oblivion demonstrations of people's resistance to the one-doctrine state that Britain has become".
Pilger warned that the paper would have to be prepared to change. "The Morning Star will grow and succeed only if it attracts a broader range of writers and readers."
The Blackpool initiative, which seeks more labour movement input, extending to the inclusion on its editorial board of at least one left trade unionist, is a step in that direction. It is hoped that local union branches will subscribe to the paper and use it as a means of communication with fellow unionists.
An extra 2-3000 copies sold each day will not only save the paper but perhaps allow it to expand beyond its current 12 pages, says editor Tony Chater. At the relaunch, the local branch of one print union presented a cheque for £10,000 for shares in Morning Star.