[Marxism] LaborNet finds its way back to print media
benj2006 at connexus.net.au
Sun Mar 26 18:47:52 MST 2006
An interesting article in light of the debate had here from time to time
around print vs electronic journals.
Of Milestones and Millstones
Three hundred issues ago, in February 1999, Workers Online published its
first edition, with the following promise: “to bring you news and views
in the traditions of the workers press of yesteryear, but with our eyes
firmly on the future.”
It was the height of tech boom and our mix of tabloid news, people-based
features and irreverent comment, including the infamous 'Pierswatch'
column; gained us instant notoriety and, perhaps, an inflated sense of
our own significance.
(. . . )
But perhaps the biggest change since 1999 is the one you could never
have predicted - the Tech Wreck. No, we didn't lose a fortune on NASDAQ,
but the collapse of the online bubble did deflate some of our more
Back then I was convinced the web was it, that the virtual world would
become the new reality and initiatives like our virtual chat rooms
seemed to us to be the infrastructure that would redefine unionism.
While the chat rooms gather virtual dust, a more interesting development
has been the way Workers Online has been converted back into print.
These days, Workers Online journalists also produce a range of trade
union magazines. And along with the tabloid treatment to those union's
issues and members, these journals carry 'Workers Online' news digests -
highlights from the online editions; as well as syndicated features on
broader industrial issues.
So the dream of an all of movement voice is slowly making its way from
its online source, into the magazines that are starting to see the
benefits in building a sense of movement outside their specific member
In another 300 issues it would be nice to think every union would be
carrying a little bit of Workers Online in their journals.
For now, as we brace for WorkChoices, Workers Online is a part of the
infrastructure that stands the movement in better stead for what will
come than our enemies realise. For this. at least, I think we can be proud.
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