Suggestions to improve People’s World

BY:Jamal Rich| May 2, 2024
Suggestions to improve People’s World


This piece is a contribution to the Pre-Convention Discussion for our 32nd National Convention. During Pre-Convention Discussion, all aspects of the party’s program, strategy, and tactics are up for consideration and debate. The ideas presented here are those of the author or authors alone, and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the Communist Party USA, its membership, or their elected leadership bodies. — Editors

As a leader in a party club in the country’s capital, where working-class and grassroots journalism is under significant attack, I have been thinking of ways to utilize People’s World (PW) and how to obtain more readers and supporters from the Washington, D.C. area. I have compiled a list of ideas here that may or may not be realistic for the PW to undertake in the coming years but can be considered as we continue to strengthen PW as a leading working-class news outlet in the country.

  1. People’s World needs an international editor. The lack of analysis from correspondents that are on the ground in war zones, in struggles in other countries, in the fights against U.S. imperialism, is something that is deeply missing. Other party newspapers, like the Morning Star in the UK, have international editors. This is something we should deeply consider in addition to reprinting our fraternal party’s news and opinion articles from their papers.
  2. PW’s cultural section can be expanded beyond film and book reviews. This section also needs to organize pitches to send out to either party members or its readers to get more folks to write cultural pieces for it. This should be in tandem with efforts to organize cultural workers within the party and to build towards potentially organizing a cultural journal akin to the New Masses of the 1930s and 40s. We need to promote our working-class art on a much bigger platform.
  3. PW and the CPUSA African American Commission need to work together to revive a column on African American struggle throughout the country. This will likely help get more black and brown readership and help the paper get into neighborhoods where people of color live.
  4. Increase efforts to encourage comrades throughout the party to write, practice journalism, and pick up basic skills that are useful. Regular PW organized classes on writing would encourage comrades to write about issues happening in their community. Regular PW organized contact with district leaders would support this effort. This includes investing in photography and videography in particular districts to train comrades how to take photos and video, teaching interviewing skills, transcribing, editing, and creating social media content. PW needs this to build the paper and build the party’s influence. There also needs to be training on how to write for local newspapers outside of PW or to get articles reprinted in them, as well as building a local PW bureau to distribute PW broadly.
  5. There should be consideration to pay freelance journalists who may be discouraged to write for PW because they need to be paid.
  6. The editorial board of PW should have quarterly pitches on the website to encourage people to write and maybe organize a contest which could help raise money for the paper.
  7. The website should include a shop for PW merchandise.
  8. The PW editorial board needs to become part of the White House Press Correspondents and to also be at the regular State Department and Pentagon press conferences in the DC area. We need multiple staff to deal with the DC journalism: local DC politics, and federal institutions. This is a very difficult task, but necessary to ensure that we have some influence.
  9. PW should host more national programming and panels and move away from poor resolution in the Zoom format. Host PW events in person in NY, DC, PA, IL, CA, IN, etc. with high resolution and make fundraisers to raise money for the paper.


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