Taking the Peoples Weekly World to a New Level

 
July 8, 2006

Report to the National Committee of the Communist Party June 24, 2006

Every Wednesday night at about 8:30 p.m., after weve put the paper to bed, I think to myself, Is this newspaper relevant for the challenges we face in the 21st Century? Are we going somewhere or just spinning our wheels?

I dont ask this question lightly nor do I ask it pessimistically. I ask it as a realistic starting point that I think is helpful for all of us, in order to think about key tasks that are necessary to take the Peoples Weekly World/Nuestro Mundo to a new level of readership and influence.

Such a question makes you think about the nature of social change. During my young adult years in the YCL and Party, I was thinking in the back of my mind that Ill experience The Great Leap Forward. Too bad my political growth paralleled the rise of the ultra right in this countryfrom 1980 to nowand the fall of socialism in the Soviet Union.

In a NY Times article about the democratic movement in Iran battling for reformwords were used like change comes from the grassroots, and its stubborn, and the pace moves at a glacier-like speed, millimeter by millimeter. All of these descriptive phrases confirm basic dialectic understanding of quantitative to qualitative change. Inch by political inch we move and work – through our strategy to help build the movement to defeat the ultra-right – tackling key tasks to build the Party and press, while planting seeds for socialism. You need to build up all those inches before that great leap forward ever happens.

So each Wednesday is an inch.

PWW and the political time of day

People are more insecure than ever. People are angry. And they arent always sure who they should be angry at. Whole ways of life are crumbling before us. Communities that were thriving working class communities are in some cases ghost townscasualties of capitalism and the policies of the ultra-right. Gone are the sprawling factories that each held hundreds, if not thousands, of manufacturing jobs. In their place came the crack cocaine epidemic that took a heavy toll on predominantly urban, Black, brown and working class communities. It was an epidemic deliberately created through the Reagan Iran-Contra-CIA era. And now the meth epidemic, hitting many small town and rural areas at the same time factories like Maytag or Delphi are closing down.

Or in the case of New Orleans, 25 years of the ultra-right shredding public programs, pushing racism, and now the Bush administrations policies and massive fraud continue to leave a whole region of the country devastated.

At the AFL-CIO union label trade show, in Cleveland, where 700 union activists signed up for no-risk bill me subscriptions, comrades who worked the table, where thousands of trade union activists came by, reported that many of the people they talked to had been through strikes and other struggles and were angry. They were angry and we had this newspaper that we could offer themto help direct that anger, one comrade said.

Some of those rank and filers may have been influenced by anti-immigrant scapegoating and wondered why we had United we marchS se puede on the front cover. But we were there to discuss and, yes, argue the issue.

The Peoples Weekly World is the weekly voice to reach out and influence thousands who are angry, who are questioning, and who want to change things. People are openin times like theseto alternative ideas. The newspaper can go beyond the one-on-one conversations and reach out with Marxist ideasideas of unity in every waymulti-racial, men and women, immigrant/U.S.-born, gay/straight, internationalism, pro-union, ideas that another world is possible with scientific socialism and the socialist alternativeto stop the destruction of lives and nature.

We have a message of solidarity and it takes a struggle to survive and win victories. It takes knowing who the main enemy is and working like hell to defeat them.

And most importantlythe struggle is about inches like elections in Novemberand explaining why such a victory would benefit the working class movement and allies and mobilizing the forces to win.

A few weeks ago we had a front page story about the minimum wage fight that is taking place in some 21 states across the countryincluding in the congressional battleground states of Pennsylvania and Ohio. If the Democrats win in November there will be expectationsa post-election agenda that will include raising the national minimum wage. Thats an important inch to win.

We try to communicate the stakes and struggles through the medium of this weekly 20-page tabloid. And I guess we are doing it because one YCLer at the recent convention told Roberta, I like that when you flip through the pages virtually every image is of people together in some sort of strugglefightingin a good way. Its enough for me to look at the pictures and headlines sometimes, to give me a different perspective, to be hopeful.

Building the content

The editorial board and staff have put in a lot of time and effort to build up a newspaper apparatus and expand the political reach of the content. In the last six years we have moved the editorial office to Chicago, re-organized and built a high-functioning editorial board, re-tooled our business operations with new technology, and nowI am so happy to announcea new business managerDan Margolis. He has been calling you about bundle bills. We are so happy he volunteered for this key job. And he/we have big plans: restart World Builders, complete the fund drive, do advertising and promotion.

We have reached out to volunteer writers. Mark Almberg, our managing editor, reports that we have some 80 regular writers for the PWW. Plus, there are dozens more labor and progressive-minded writers who agree to let us reprint their work. We have reached out to photographers and artists. During the immigrant rights massive marches we received the most beautiful photographs from volunteers. We couldnt even do them justice and hope at some pointwhen we have the timeto put all the photos on our web site.

The editorial board also put a good deal of time into guiding through a redesign by our two talented graphic artists.

The board has spent a good deal of time putting in place the necessary ingredients to make interesting reading, which includes training and skill building. At our last editorial board meeting we had a labor writer for a major newspaper come and give a session on writing. I think he came away with some skills that we imparted to him too.

Our content is still a work in progress and could still be strengthened in many areas. When Martin Frazier left our staff to teach and get his masters, his regular contributions on African, Caribbean and African American affairs ended. Those articles are deeply missed.

In some other areas were uneven and not regular enoughlike on womens equality struggles and the environment. We have momentum and editorial apparatus in place to allow us to deepen and expand. We need help with this coverage.

The PWW was excited to partner with the YCL in preparation of its convention, at the convention and beyond. We sold 40 subscriptions10 shy of our 50-sub goalat the convention. We started a Whats Really Good column that covers youth and student news. Many YCLers have been writing for the paper and making great contributionsSmiley, Jessie, Adam, Abdul, Pepe and Santiand most recently Samfor Nuestor Mundo. YCLers made a tremendous contribution to writing on the World Youth Festival and in particular on developments in Venezuela and the Bolivarian Revolution.

The editorial board and readers have really appreciated having Pepe on staff, and since May, on the editorial board. Hes made good contributions writing on Chicago-based struggles, youth and student issues and sports. His responsibilities are expanding as well to include page editing of the culture page. His work as reporter for the PWW, along with his familys history of struggle, and his involvement in the YCL has led to his being asked to speak at a growing, number of classes and events.

We owe a big thanks to Tom Whitney, who hason a volunteer basiswritten Cuba News articles for last two years. From socialist-style hurricane disaster relief to the struggle to free the Cuban 5 to the struggle to extradite the terrorist Posada, Whitney has kept readers up to date and informed on Cuba. He has also broadened the scope to include developments in Venezuela and Bolivia. Now he has agreed to take on World Notes. Whitney writes articles that many readers look forward to. A number of his storiesespecially on Venezuela get reprinted on other websites, in particular vheadlines.com. Comrades who went to the recent social forum in Venezuela and others are also making important contributions educating U.S. readers about developments in Venezuela and countering anti-Chavez stories and policies.

We have a network of volunteer translators for Mundo. These comrades are dedicated to guaranteeing the Spanish-language pages of our press. One comradewhen he was living in Kansaswould send Mundo stories to a Spanish-language community paper to reprint. And they did. So youd see Tim Wheelers byline on the front page of this small-town Kansas Spanish-language newspaper. Mundo is a great resource to reach out to this significant section of our working class.

The regular CPUSA Q and A, commentaries and analysis by Party leaders and other direct ways of getting the Partys view into print have been hits with the readers. We are shooting for a Marxism serieshopefully soon.

Volunteers and a collaborative, collective style are the heart and soul of a newspaper like ours. This approach has been key for building up our content. We feel we have laid the infrastructure to sustain and grow politically relevant and struggle-oriented content.

Taking things to a new level

But, now we are challenged to take what we have built to a new level. And this means focusing on building the paid subscriptions and mass circulation of the paper. And to do that it needs to be a project not just of the PWW editorial board and staff, but of the whole Party, the PWWs biggest and best supporter.

And while this process has to be centered in the clubs and club building, the National Committee has to give leadership by example on it. I emphasize BY EXAMPLE. We dont need to collectively exhort club members or district organizers or even each other to do more concrete building of the readership of the paper. What we need to dois just do it.

Unfortunately, and maybe Im wrong about this, there is an artificial division of labor around the distribution and use of the paper. I think in a variety of instances it is thought of as Jimmy Higgins workwhere that kind of work is looked down upon.

Thats not how Lenin described building the press. He said it is a key task to building the party and movement. I think we should honestly examine these attitudes if they exist. We have to adopt an inch by inch, person by person approach to talk to them about subscribing. The elections struggle presents us with an excellent opportunity to ask potential readers to subscribe.

Why subscribe?

A few years ago the editorial board decided to do away with trial subscriptionsthe 3 mos. for $1 offer. We did this for a few reasons:

1. They cost us a lot of money. Many undelivered newspapers came back to us for a cost of more than $1.00 each.

2. People dont take seriously subscribing for $1, and that showed because the rate of turning trial subscriptions to full year subscriptions was less than 1 percent.

3. We had to start to change the culture in our circles, in the Party, to fight for full-year paid subscriptionsnot only a financial commitment (and we did have to increase the yearly sub rate to more closely reflect costs) but to politically challenge comrades and readers to make a political commitment to the paper.

We have gained some traction on this culture change but we havent turned a corner yet. We need everyone in this room to help make the turn.

Currently there are 1,955 subscribers and 20,643 copies distributed in bundle form. Based on our current web site analysis tools, which we are upgrading, it looks like there has been a significant increase in traffic in the last 6 months: from 10,000 unique visits per week to now 25,000. I say this hesitantly because the tools we have arent the best but this is the latest info I was given. If this holds true our web site now has more readers than the print run. This does not include the posting of our articles on other web sites and email lists or labor press services, which are growing. We also have some 160 weekly distributors who get a bundle of papers every weekfrom 3 to 1,000and take responsibility in getting them out, whether to other distributors or doing the direct distribution themselves.

The numberssubscribers and weekly runare the bread and butter of any publication. As you can tell they are woefully low and have been about that number for 10 years. We have to make a changeand inch by inch turn this situation around.

Start-up initiatives:

To begin the taking us to a new level project, I want to project a goal of 300 new subscribers by the end of the year. Weve tossed out such goals beforebut they were not serious because there was no follow up, including no business manager to help push it along. I propose the editorial board and organizing dept. meet to work out goals, Perhaps the fund drive committee, which Pam will report on, can be helpful in the follow up on subscriptions too. By the end of the year, we send a direct mail to another publication list asking those readers to subscribe.

Follow up on the 700 unionists who signed up for a no-risk bill me subscription. We have sent 2 letters and will send a postcard, too. The Ohio district is planning some calls and we will have a special approach to Labor Day.

While we have cut the trial subscription, we do have the ability to do what we call bill me subscription. That isif you get a commitment from someone to buy a subscription you can send their name and address to us and we will start sending them the paper along with a bill for $30. If they dont pay that bill within a certain amount of time then they will be cut off. We also can take credit card informationeither on the web, or over the phone, or in our handy dandy business reply envelopefor subscriptions and donations.

The indispensability of the Communist, working class press

Next year we will be having a conference on the role of the Party and press. This report is a precursor to this conference to help jump-start the thinking about the role of the Communist press today.

We have to consider the indispensability of our press and the Partys role. In order to help build the broadest, most united movement of the working class and allies, to which the racially and nationally oppressed, women and youth are key- then we need a bigger Party and certainly a bigger circulation of our press.

In What is to be Done Lenin spoke about setting up an all-Russia political newspaper as the mainline by which we may unswervingly develop, deepen, and expand the organization. That such a newspaper through a weekly distribution of tens of thousands would become part of an enormous pair of smiths bellow that would fan every spark of the class struggle and of popular indignation into a general conflagration.

Lenin argued forcefully that such a newspaper could be a collective organizer for a revolutionary organization, a trainer for political cadre, that it could make concrete connections across the country and movementsa newspaper that can gather and organize the party and the working class and allies.

You know how people are at the workplace, union or in your neighborhood. They are consumed by daily tasks/work/drudgery/raising kids. They dont necessarily know about political developments or struggles going on beyond their immediate circleseven with the advent of the Internet and satellite TV.

Lenin argued that a national newspaper would Establish real contacts between towns fragmentation weighs down on people. They are stuck in a hole, not knowing what is happening in the world, from whom to learn or how to acquire experience and satisfy their desire to engage in broad activities.

The Peoples Weekly World has a national perspective with a grassroots reach. At the same time, it has a grassroots, working class perspective with a national reach. It links people up with our common agenda – to defeat the ultra right and corporate agenda – and to plant seeds for heightened understanding and struggles on the systemic nature of capitalism and the alternativesocialism.

Since the generational change in Party leadership, we have been giving renewed attention to every aspect of party building, and that includes building our press, and how these both help to build the movement. To impart a deeper understanding of events in the labor, working class and peoples movements, wont happen spontaneously. The working classwithout a conscious, communist sectorwont just wake up one morning and realize its historic role. It needs a Communist Party to help it understand all the challenges, and the Communist Party needs an amplifier of these ideasin this case our weekly newspaper.

Our challenge is also to help the movement see that the Communists and its press are an indispensable and necessary ingredient to the struggles against the ultra right and the many-sided struggle for democracy.

There are many voicesalternative, progressive voices out there that play valuable roles. We often reprint articles from other sources. Many of you may read, listen or subscribe to themThe Nation, Truthout, Alternet, Daily Kos, Democracy Now, Air Americato name just a few. While each makes a contributionthey obviously dont have the same outlook or place the working class and the class struggle at the core of things, or emphasize the struggle against racism, or the labor movement as we do. They dont have the same strategic outlook of defeating the ultra right as we do. They also dont have an organizationor revolutionary partythat they are associated with that needs to be built.

Examples of PWW as collective organizer and trainer of cadre

A few examples of how weve tried to make the newspaper a collective organizer, a trainer of cadre and make concrete connections to struggles across the country:

Immigrant rights

During the months of March, April and Maymillions took to the streets in an unprecedented immigrant rights upsurge. Our coverage sought to amplify these actions and the voices of the leaders and participants, to give our perspective on a fluid situation and to tie it to the legislative and electoral struggles, working class unity and the struggle for democracy. We had begun weekly coverage on this issue even before the demonstrations based on the collective estimate that this was a key challenge for the working class and peoples movement in this period. It was difficult, not only to cover the upsurge, but to coordinate it in two languages. It has been very helpful to have the committee of Rosalio, Emile and Joelle to write and help with coverage.

Looking over those issues we were able to tie together the numerous developmentscity-by-city, town by town along with the legislative battle and give a national perspective. Combined with previous coverage of union organizing among immigrant workers, articles on corporate globalizations influence on immigration, taken in totality we made a contribution and will continue to do so. With the elections and public hearings coming up this is still a live, important issue.

Labor coverage

Another example of coverage as a collective organizer is the Justice for Smithfield workers in North Carolina thanks to Scott who gave us quite a national labor scoop. This article was also distributed through Press Associates to numerous union publications. Now there is a national campaign/tour to raise awareness of the union organizing and conditions these packinghouse workers face and to link it to labors role in fighting for civil rights as well. How can we utilize this story to join in the campaign, deepen peoples understanding about the right to organize?

Or our other unique labor coverage, for example the mine industryfollowing the Sago Mine Disaster, Denise and George went to West Virginia for on the spot interviews. Denise is planning another tripthis time to Kentucky. How can we use this coverage to build the paper in the labor movement? Build for miners issues? Build the Party among the coalfields and coal mining communities?

Three weeks ago we had a story on the front page on the fight to raise the minimum wage, as I mentioned before. It started off with Pennsylvanias statewide rally but talked about the fights that have taken place or are taking place in 21 states. How can we use stories like these to reach out and make contacts/subscribers/build the movement and activate our clubs? We published this right on the eve of the national debate in Congress. So well have a follow-up storyand use this to expose all the congress people in battleground districts that voted against the raise. How can we use that?

Gulf Coast and post-Katrina

We instituted a regular post-Katrina or Gulf Coast update to keep everyone informed of the struggles going on especially in New Orleans but along the whole Gulf Coast. In the wake of the disaster we sent Tim, accompanied by Sam, for on-the-spot coverage. Two months later I went. And two months after that another delegation of Trese from the YCL, Bill and Debbie went and did a follow-up story. Our writers, especially in Texas, have been excellent in following up on this battle and what survivors are facing. The coverage has worked to tie together race and classthat the struggle against racism is in all workers interestsBlack, white, Latino, Asian and Native American. It has focused on the policies of the Bush administration and its failures and its links to corporate profiteering. We have also tried to cover the environmental and immigration issues that this disaster have brought to the fore. We have also tried to deal with poverty and the attack on unions and public education in the disasters wake.

The costs of war and rebuilding the Gulf Coast have also been part of the coverage. Morgan Wheeler went on the Vets for Peace march across the Gulf Coast and gave unique on the spot reporting of the veterans making connections between the war and the costs to our country so blatantly seen in the aftermath of Katrina. These stories are posted on the Vets for Peace web site. Morgan and Tim developed special relationship with the Vets for Peace organization. Tim also did a story on the U.S. vets trip to Vietnam and the joint fight for justice for Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange, this was really appreciated by these working-class peace warriors.

Iraq

Perhaps our Iraq coverage has been the most comprehensive. Starting in 2002we have covered the peace battles including those from the GIs, the veterans and the labor movements perspective. We have consistently exposed the Bush administration lies and the corporate war profiteering. We have reported on the political situation in Iraq and shown the overall ties to the ultra-rights/neo-con foreign policy strategy to the region. There has hardly been one issue in the last four years that has not been concerned with this titanic battle. One of the widest read stories on the International Labor Communication Association web site, published by us, was Sues Is Iraq Bushs Watergate? The Iraq coveragein all its aspects and vantage points and authors has allowed us to reach into the peace movement and labor movement with our approaches and ideas to end the warand to tie it to defeating the ultra right electorally.

Health care

HR676or the Medicare for All billthe Peoples Weekly World has given regular reporting on it for the last two years thanks to work by our labor editor and other comrades. We came out early campaigning on this piece of legislation and may be the only newspaper in this country that has produced a booklet on the health care crisis with HR 676 as a main organizing point in the booklet. The labor endorsements are rolling inas is the growth of the grassroots demands and awareness on the legislation. The PWW has been a tool that comrades and others can use to hook up struggleslike the ones in this weeks issue, from Washington state and Missouri and throughout the labor movement.

Elections

We are gearing up for the next big election battle. How can clubs use the PWW to build and influence the movements during this time? How can clubs use the PWW to publicize the paper, sell subscriptions and increase circulation?

One example is what the Party club in Brooklyn has done with interesting results. A few weeks ago the PWW published an opinion piece by Danny Rubin on the elections and gentrification. This article was turned into a leaflet with the Peoples Weekly World logo and information on it and was distributed at a community meeting. New contacts with leaders of the local movement against these real estate developers and in the election arena were made. They appreciated the article.

Thinking through how to use the paper is an integral part to the clubs work, no matter what the issue they chose to work on. The club also has regular PWW forums and developed a contact list, from which they work for subscriptions and donations to some success.

There are other examples, but this gives a picture of how the PWW weaves current events, ongoing issues and struggles to give a deeper understanding of things and move people to a higher level of unity and action.

Trainer of cadre

The PWW has to be considered, not only as a collective organizer, but a trainer of political cadre. The YCL uses PWW articles often in their weekly email bulletin. They develop discussion questions to consider while reading the article.

The Hartford club takes one of our editorials and uses it as the basis for educational discussion.

A number of district organizers send out selected PWW stories regularly to their club and contact action lists and post them to other email lists they subscribe to. Is there more we can do in our clubs and work to utilize the paper as a trainer of cadre? Are the articlesboth news and commentaryhelpful in informing and deepening peoples understanding of a particular development or problem?

I have a theory that only 30 percent of the National Committee actually reads the paper. If my theory is truehow can the whole NC think through how to utilize the paper, its articles in a way to reach out and build both the movement and the papers readership? Often times Im on the blast email lists of many leading comrades and get articles from other sources. They are helpful. But I always wonder if comrades blast out any PWW stories to their list? And if not, why not?

Another way to look at the PWWthree-layered role

For a while now the editorial board has operated under the premise that the PWW has three layers to its role. The first layer is the collective organizer and toolthe scaffolding on which to stand firmly to build the Party and project its news, views, strategy and tactics. In this layer we plant the seeds for radical social progress and socialism.

The second layer of our role is to help build the movements by reporting on them. And in some cases, because of the high level of monopoly corp. domination of the media we may be the only voice reporting on certain struggles.

Through the reporting and interviewing process, as Tim says, we are ambassadors of the Party too. We make connections between a particular struggle and the party at the same time helping to win the struggle. Our coverage makes us a working class tool. (As opposed to Forbes, which calls itself a capitalist tool.

The third layer of the PWWs role is to be part of the growing anti-ultra-right, anti monopolymedia movement. This movement embraces the independent and I use that in the broadest way possibleand alternative press. So we are a part of associations/conferences/initiatives that deal with this area of struggle.

The Missouri PWW bureau, for example, has initiated a yearly conference/dinner that deals with the issues of the working class press and the battle for democracy. They have invited speakers from the communist press along with the labor, student, African American and gay and lesbian and other publications/radio shows to share their thoughts on a particular theme.

To have this three-layered role helps us keep a good balance between the Party, labor and mass movements, on the one hand, and the paper as its own entity, which relates to other media formations, on the other. And it may be helpful in visualizing the role of the PWW in your area and club.

Grassroots building coast-to-coast

To build the PWW we have to center it in the clubs. We have to look case by case, in every district, in every club, comrade by comrade and examine how we are using the paper. From that level we should make a plan to increase not only its bundle and subscription numbers but its effectiveness. We must reach a new level of using the paper to build the Party and the movements.

For example in several areas of the country we have mass weekly distributions. The Twin Cities is one of my favorite examples. You cant go anywhere in those cities without seeing the paperand people reading the paper. This includes in union halls, coffee shops, book stores and campuses, etc. So in that situation, what are the tools that are needed to bring this massive readership closer to the organization of the party? How do we get them to subscribe or donate money? To come to local events?

Another example is in Chicago. Our club chair started to drop the paper door to door in his neighborhood. The club agreed to follow up by canvassing, knocking on doors and asking people if theyve seen the paper, if theyve read it and if they want to continue getting it. In this process weve met some really interesting people who like the paper. Its like gold mining and finding a few nuggets. But how do we take these initial contacts and build a relationship with them?

Are there clubs that dont do anything with the paper? I have a feeling there are. A club that doesnt put the paper out in their area of concentration is voiceless and isolated.

In each case a club will have its own particulars. Each club has to examine those particulars and figure out a plan to take circulation to a new level. Maybe in some areas it will mean appointing someone as press coordinator to make sure these plans are followed up.

Internet publishing

Perhaps the 800 lb. gorilla in the room is really not 800 lbsbut 800 gigabytes. Thats the Internet and the impact on newspapers. We dont operate in a vacuum. There has been talk about the future of newspapers, and perhaps going the way of the dinosaurs.

This is also an issue when we look at our budget. Putting out a weekly papereven with the modest number of staff people we do haveeats up a lot of money, over one million dollars a year.

Is the Internet making newspapers obsolete? Should we just publish online?

In a word: No.

Although the corporate press is worried about its newspapers and the rise of the Internetits concerns center on advertising revenue and where it is flowing and how things like Craigs List are replacing classified ads for the young generation.

There are science-fictionesque projections for a fabric-less/thin screened, foldable newspaperwhich may be realized, by some estimates, in 2015. According to one Washington Post writer, instead of a handful of papers, it’s a paper-thin video screen, thin enough to fold up and put under your arm. Instead of static photos and text, its constantly changing text, video and perhaps sound. Think of it as a combination paper, television and Internet, presumably wirelessly connected to a futuristic Wi-Fi.

But then he raises the big question: Obviously, there would be economics and class issues. Not everyone could afford a subscription to a paper or a video screen. And of course they must not be denied information and news simply because they can’t afford the new technology. So there would still be a need for paper products of some sort.

The Internet and newspapers will co-exist for a while to come. Now the trend is for media to push readers/listeners to their website: something we have to really work on. The Internet and the PWW websiteis really a vast untouched territory for us, even though we have made some wonderful strides with Barbara Russum posting. Barb has been putting up color photos. Weve also been maintaining our Online eXtra as well, which provides additional content not seen in the print edition.

We do not have a full-time website coordinator. Our present staff is woefully under trained on the medium, and although we have taken some steps like staff training on html classes. But there are so many possibilities. Podcasts, blogs, fund raising, daily online content, building our link exchanges only touch the surface of what could be done.

We are in discussion with our partners at Political Affairs, along with the YCL, the Tech and the Org. Departments on how to better coordinate and tap into this wide open virtual space for communication. The Internet has provided the basis for more cooperation between our publicationsas it has for numerous other media outlets.

Some wonder if we should move to a pay subscription for online content. For the editorial board, the jury is out on that. We want to get the information out and drive readers to our website so they will return. Even among the mass media there isnt unanimity on pay for content. The New York Times has moved in that direction but the Washington Posts philosophy is build audience and the revenue will come in other ways. Thats where we are at in that discussion.

Conclusion

Its going to take a nationally coordinated effort and a full commitment from this National Committee to build the PWW. My business card reads, Journalists interpret the world in various ways, the point is to change it. This has to be a project of the whole party. The next inch is 300 new subscribers by the end of the year. Its up to you to push and make that inch possible.

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