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Submitted by martin on Thu, 07/03/2019 - 08:33

Janine’s claim that “pamphlets, journals and books are better” than newspapers overlooks the different aims of the different types of publications.

The time-specific aspect of newspapers, while giving them a short shelf-life, is central to their purpose. They give news, reports, analysis of current events, and live debate, as a coherent whole.

This includes for example short pieces which while important information may not be exciting enough in themselves to be shared on social media, or in videos.

It is necessary that revolutionary socialists seriously engage in the live developments in the world around us, and many who aren’t yet revolutionaries are interested in this, and should be.

Some content, and certain angles on some content, will not be covered in the bourgeois press. Newspapers allow us to promote these, and allow us to promote socialist ideas to those interested in immediate news.

Regular newspapers require regular sales and reading, supporting and slotting into the active process of continually persuading and re-persuading people of revolutionary ideas.

Books and pamphlets are vital for in depth study of particular topics, and video equivalents of these can be useful. However, this serves a different function to the paper.

The longer more in depth articles in newspapers, or the strings of articles in newspapers, do not have to have a short shelf-life. The articles in the newspaper end up on the website. As with videos, these can be indefinitely accessed for free, from anywhere in the world.

The schedule of a regular production of a newspaper produces an organisational framework that drives the production of these articles.

Producing a whole quality newspaper does indeed have serious individual barriers, but writing an article for a newspaper or online, or producing a basic leaflet, doesn’t. There isn’t to my knowledge any simple and easy equivalent to writing into a newspaper, for regularly produced videos.

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