13 August 2011Feature

What is it like to work in the mainstream media? What are the opportunities for reaching a wide audience with progressive ideas? These questions and more were put to occasional PN contributor Beena Sarwar - a print and TV journalist working in the mainstream media in Pakistan.


PN: Tell us a bit about yourself, what kind of work you do and what your focus is - in terms of the reports or opinion pieces you write.

BS: I am a full-time journalist with a visual arts background, but over the last decade the painting has been sidelined bymy professional involvement with journalism - as well as activism in human rights issues, which includes, of course, women's issues and peace issues - and, for the past couple of years, television documentary. (I did an…

1 July 2011Feature

A ground-breaking radical online newspaper, and how it put its values into practice in the workplace.

In mid-2003, the US military was ploughing steadily into Iraq, goaded on by a pro-war corporate media. Stateside, the federal government was ravaging civil rights in the name of national security, as reporters did their best to scare the population into complacency. And in the background, the economy was eroding the quality of life for families and communities across the country while wealthy elites accrued unprecedented fortunes and the daily headlines heralded a “recovery.” The failure of…

1 July 2011Feature

A ground-breaking radical online newspaper, and how it put its values into practice in the workplace.

The theory of participatory economics (see our interview with Michael Albert in PN 2530) provides a framework for creating a new kind of workplace in present-day market economies. Unlike some facets of the parecon vision, which may seem lofty and futuristic, the workplace model can to a great extent be immediately implemented. I say this with confidence because I have done it.

For four years, I, along with several coworkers, laboured in a parecon-based workplace to produce a daily,…

1 July 2011Feature

Milan Rai recaps the Chomsky-Herman "Propaganda Model" of the mainstream media.

When the idea of the Rebellious Media Conference first bubbled up a year ago, there were two things that we really wanted to achieve with the event. We wanted to inspire people with excellent examples of radical media – the extraordinary achievements of The NewStandard were a prime example (see articles on this page). We also wanted to get a much wider circle of people (activists, journalists and others) engaging seriously with the Chomsky-Herman Propaganda Model of the media. (There are…

1 July 2011News in Brief

On 21 June, anti-cuts activists found themselves unable to use Facebook to share news of a new website promoting the public sector strike on 30 June. When Facebook users tried to share a link for, they received an error message: “This message contains blocked content that has previously been flagged as abusive or spammy.” The links were unblocked after the Morning Star and US-based news site Mother Jones contacted Facebook for an…

1 June 2011News in Brief

On 29 April, while the mainstream media was distracted by royal goings-on, around 60 left-wing Facebook sites were removed from the web. The sites were mainly anti-cuts groups including Anti-Cuts Across Wigan, Arts Against Cuts, Bristol Ukuncut, Chesterfield Stopthecuts, Leeds City College Against Fees and Cuts and Notts-Uncut Part-of UKUncut. Student, SWP and anarchist groups were also hit.

Someone had used the fact that these groups had wrongly set up “profiles” (meant to be for…

1 June 2011Feature

Albert Beale makes a personal selection of a few of the more noteworthy images and pieces of writing that have appeared in Peace News over the last 75 years. Some of the items are chosen because of their eloquence, some because they typify PN's often lonely and unique take on the world, and some because they connect with major world events. And sometimes all three.

The paper reports from the first meeting of War Resisters' International after the Second World War (10 January 1947)

The Hitler question

One of the challenges still regularly thrown at pacifists today is the “But what about the Second World War?” question. This might be thought to have been even harder to deal with at the time. But James Avery Joyce rose to the challenge on the front page of PN on 26 September 1941.

“At this…

1 May 2011Comment

Reflections on the deaths of two war photographers.

The deaths of Western war photographers Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros in Misrata in Libya on 20 April sparked considerable reflection in the British press. Many voices were raised saluting the courage – and recognising the social importance – of front-line photo-journalists, who take extraordinary risks in order to connect the global public with the reality of war.

Few have done more in this regard than Tim Hetherington, the videographer and co-director of Restrepo (2010) a worm’…

1 May 2011News

The event planned for October formerly known as “the Radical Media Conference” has been forced to change its name after being subjected to legal threats by an international PR and production company calling itself “Radical Media”. There will be a protest against this corporate bullying on 3 May.

On 5 April, as the conference organising group began pulling together suggestions for workshops, Peace News (which initiated the event) was surprised to receive an email from Joan Aceste,…

1 December 2010News

The news the papers didn’t print about Wikileaks and Gaza

Evidence that the death toll in Iraq may have been grossly underestimated and documents revealing that Israel approved, in principle, “a policy of deliberate reduction” for basic goods in the Gaza Strip, have both been rated “X” in recent mainstream media coverage.

In the wake of Wikileaks’ 22 October publication of nearly 400,000 secret US military logs, the mainstream media briefly returned to the issue of the post-invasion civilian death toll in Iraq. In particular, much…

1 October 2010Feature

The Nuclear Resister marks 30 years of supporting imprisoned activists and reporting on anti-nuclear and anti-war resistance

Thirty years ago this October, the first issue of the Newsletter of the National No-Nukes Prison Support Collective (later renamed the Nuclear Resister) reported on just one anti-nuclear civil disobedience action – that of the Plowshares Eight.

On 9 September 1980, eight US activists made their way into a General Electric factory in Pennsylvania, where they hammered and poured blood on nuclear missile nose-cones. This action inspired a global movement, and scores of similar acts…

3 June 2010Comment

38 Degrees started in May 2009, named after the angle at which an avalanche occurs. It’s modelled after other international social-avalanche attempts such as in the US, the Australian, and worldwide Recently it’s gained attention for its work (with others) on voting reform in the UK.

38 Degrees is a non-partisan people mobiliser: mostly by using technology (online petitions, emails to MPs and corporate executives) and sometimes through more…

1 May 2010Feature

As Peace News heads towards its 75th anniversary next year, we cast an eye at some of our sister peace publications. This month, the extraordinary Catholic Worker.

The Catholic Worker is a paper. It’s a house of hospitality for homeless people. It’s a communal farm. It’s a soup kitchen. It’s a movement. It’s radical, pacifist, anarchist, and Catholic. It’s 77 years old as of May Day 2010.

Dorothy Day meant to start a labour paper to announce to the unemployed of the Depression era that the Catholic church has a body of social teaching capable of re-shaping society along the lines of justice and peace. Little did she know what she was in…

1 May 2010News in Brief

Over the 4 July weekend, Nuclear Resister magazine (30 years old) and Nukewatch (31 years old) will be celebrating their anniversaries with a “Resistance for a nuclear-free future” conference and action in Tennessee.

1 February 2010News

A recent alleged massacre by US-led forces in Afghanistan has been greeted with near-total silence on the part of the British press.

On 31 December, The Times’ Jerome Starkey reported allegations that ten civilians – including seven children – had been killed during a night-raid on the village of Ghazi Kang. According to the local headmaster – who provided Starkey with their names and school registration numbers – the children, whose ages ranged from 11 to 17, were…