A new era for Socialist Worker

February 22, 2008

Socialist Worker's editor discusses the plans for a newly redesigned Web site.

OVER THE coming couple months, Socialist Worker has some major changes planned.

We will be renovating our Web site, SocialistWorker.org, with the goal of providing daily news and analysis--with more varied reports and commentary than we've ever been able to fit into our print edition, delivered more often than we've ever been able to before. And to devote the resources needed for this project, as well as to refashion the print edition of SW so it serves its purpose most effectively, we plan to change from a weekly print schedule to every two weeks.

We have a host of features in mind for the redesigned SocialistWorker.org. You'll find the left-wing news and analysis that you expect from SW posted online every day, instead of being saved up and crammed into a weekly paper. Look for more on-the-ground reports about the struggles and political activities taking place around the country that rarely, if ever, make it into the mainstream press. Our newly designed site will make it easier to find the ideas and information you're looking for.

You'll find your favorite Socialist Worker columnists, like Sharon Smith, Paul D'Amato and Dave Zirin, writing regularly online--plus some new ones, including Mike Davis, Anthony Arnove and Dahr Jamail. Look for more analysis by socialist writers with a depth of understanding that can explain the complex events taking place in every corner of the globe. Plus online discussions where you can ask our writers questions, daily blogs tracking the news you need to be reading, and an archive of articles that chronicle the hidden history of the U.S. working-class movement.

THE GROWING importance of the Internet has produced new opportunities and new challenges for the media at every level. Everyone, from the biggest mainstream papers to independent publications like ours, is having to change.


Please help us out with a donation. Left-wing media like SocialistWorker.org have always depended on the support of their readers. Find out more about contributing--or click the button below to make a donation via PayPal.

Socialist Worker is a national newspaper, but without any of the advantages the commercial media rely on. Writing the articles for each issue, editing and typesetting them, printing the paper, and transporting it to the far corners of the continental U.S. so each issue can be distributed, sold and read before the next appears--this has always been a major undertaking for a modestly sized group of socialists. To do it, SW has depended on the talent, commitment and hard work of its many supporters.

That effort has most definitely been worth it--because it meant there was a socialist voice making itself heard during all the ups and downs of the past three decades. We are very proud of what we have been able to contribute to the fights of today and the ongoing project of building a new left--during high points like the massive May Day demonstrations for immigrant rights, or the more difficult moments like the Bush administration's barbaric wars on Afghanistan and Iraq.

We know SocialistWorker.org has a growing readership--we count tens of thousands of visitors to our Web site each week, and thousands of e-mail subscribers. And we know these people and many more are using the Web to gain access to information and analysis that not so long ago could only be found at a few newsstands in major cities, or at libraries, months after the fact. Where political activists once made do with typewritten leaflets and word of mouth to spread the word about their struggles, news of injustices and the fight against them now reaches around the world instantly.

There is a huge potential to expand the audience for Socialist Worker and the revolutionary tradition it stands for. But our resources are finite, and so this means we have to reduce the frequency of our paper publication.

This doesn't mean that the paper edition of Socialist Worker is being set aside for future museum exhibitions. The paper edition of SW still has an absolutely vital role to play, because our commitment to producing a revolutionary newspaper has never been solely about spreading socialist ideas and analysis.

Socialist Worker is also an organizer--in knitting together groups of socialists in different parts of a very large country, in connecting activists focused on different areas of work, in building a layer of fighters who see the value of a socialist analysis of society and a commitment to the struggle for a better world.

SW is crucial in creating a face-to-face dialogue among those who read and distribute it. We hope, in fact, that a biweekly pace for SW will help us better serve the need among this audience for articles that they can debate and discuss--and then act, based on a deeper understanding and agreement on what to do next.

At the same time, the new SocialistWorker.org will advance this discussion with a broader audience. And over time, we hope the developing Web technologies that are used today to sell some new fad or promote the favored myths of society's elite can serve a better purpose--in drawing together that audience into concrete political relationships which help expand and develop the struggles of the future.

We ask for your patience during this transition. There's a lot of work involved in our Web site redesign--we hope to begin introducing the new SocialistWorker.org within the next few weeks, but it will take some weeks and months to implement all the features we are planning. Likewise, we won't change the paper production schedule to a permanent biweekly basis for a while, but we plan to skip a few issues--starting with next week's--so our staff can concentrate on the transition.

And, please, take the time to make a donation to Socialist Worker via PayPal and help us with this exciting new project. Financing a socialist newspaper--in print or on the Internet--has always depended on the dedication of those committed to what it stands for. We hope you'll help us with any donation that you can spare.

As rotten as the Bush years have been, we have been proud to be a part of the development of independent media that are making their voices heard in inspiring new ways. We look forward to further achievements ahead--and a future of organizing resistance to a world of war and corporate greed.