Editorial: Be a part of the new-look Green Left Weekly

This issue introduces a few changes that have been made to the look of Green Left Weekly. The front cover logo has been updated and the layout inside has been refreshed. This is a change we’ve been working on since last year based on feedback about how to improve the paper.

For 22 years, GLW has remained independent from corporate interests and this has allowed us to expose the lies and distortions of those in power.

For example, last year GLW was one of the only media outlets that rejected anti-Muslim hysteria and condemned police violence against a peaceful Muslim protest in Sydney. This position prompted Liberal Senator Brett Mason to move a motion in the Senate condemning GLW for publishing articles that criticised police actions.

But GLW is not just a media project. It is a campaigning newspaper that seeks to intervene in public debates and build progressive movements for change.

We are proudly on the side of ordinary people. In the words of Archbishop Desmond Tutu: “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”

From climate activists protesting outside a coalmining conference, to Aboriginal players standing up to racism in the AFL, from teachers going on strike to win better conditions for themselves and their students, to campaigners fighting for equal marriage rights, GLW supports them all.

It recognises that these struggles are all connected and change can only be won through people joining together and fighting for it. GLW knows that another world — beyond capitalism — is possible. It makes the argument that socialism is necessary if humanity is to overcome the devastation of war, poverty and ecological destruction that endangers the world.

GLW supports the Socialist Alliance and relies on Socialist Alliance members writing for and distributing the newspaper. At a time when the corporate media is finding it more and more difficult to make a profit out of selling newspapers, GLW remains strong because of the hundreds of hours of volunteer effort that go into producing and distributing the paper each week.

But we have always sought to reflect a broad range of left-wing views, to contribute to discussion and debate in social movements, and to be informative about the campaigns, protests and revolutions that are happening around the world.

Although the corporate media still have tremendous influence in shaping which issues become news and which are ignored, this is being challenged by the growth of social media. The popularity of social media sites has helped alternative media projects like GLW find a new audience.

These networks allow everyone to choose which news to share, and allow people to access important stories that are ignored by the mainstream media. For example, when police assaulted two gay men after the Sydney Mardi Gras in March, a widely shared video of the assault sparked a public response and within a week 1500 people had rallied against police violence.

We are not going to stop producing the hard copy of the newspaper, but we are embracing an audience that will read it on a phone or a computer anywhere in the world. Its sister project, Green Left TV, is approaching its first anniversary and has produced more than 200 videos that have racked up 200,000 views.

These days, people are just as likely to come across GLW on the wall of their friend’s Facebook page as seeing it at a rally or a market stall. You can help us reach a larger online audience by sharing the articles you like.

But to survive, we need our supporters to give financial backing too. If you read GLW online, please consider making a donation to ensure it can continue to be an independent voice. Alternatively, buying a subscription for a friend helps financially and introduces GLW to a new reader.

Volunteers that help distribute the weekly newspaper and organise fundraisers are a crucial part of the project. But there are other ways you can help GLW. Contact the editors if you want to write an article, design graphics, help with the website or even intern at the GLW office.

This will help GLW continue to grow bigger and stronger.