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From The Socialist newspaper, 20 June 2018

How do we produce the Socialist?

Planning

The Socialist editorial team: (left to right) Ian Pattison, layout; Dave Carr, international; James Ivens, news and opinion; Scott Jones, workplace and campaigns; Sarah Wrack, editor of the Socialist

The Socialist editorial team: (left to right) Ian Pattison, layout; Dave Carr, international; James Ivens, news and opinion; Scott Jones, workplace and campaigns; Sarah Wrack, editor of the Socialist   (Click to enlarge)

The editorial team, consisting of five fulltime workers for the Socialist Party based at our national office in east London, meets four times a week. We discuss what the priorities are, taking into account what's in the news, what big events are covered by this paper, what events happened last week that we should get reports of, what the big questions being discussed by workers and young people are, and what other articles we have been sent or offered. Sometimes we might have to change the plan mid-production because of the pressure of events, and may have to hold some articles until a future issue or put them on our website only. We also have meetings to review each issue and discuss what we could do better, look further ahead at feature planning, and to decide our front page headline together.


Commissioning

News editor James commissioning an article

News editor James commissioning an article   (Click to enlarge)

Each page editor contacts members around the country, at our national office, or in our sister parties internationally to write the articles needed. It's also really helpful for branches to arrange articles on local issues and to let us know about people who are willing to write for the paper. We'll offer some guidance on the type of article we're looking for, a word length (we aim to keep each page to 8-900 words) and a deadline (usually by the Wednesday before publication for feature or comment material and first thing Monday or Tuesday morning for news or reports from weekend events).

Don't be daunted by the task, even if you haven't done something like this before. We believe that working class and young people are the best experts on the topics we cover in the Socialist. Other Socialist Party members in your area are likely to be very willing to advise you and if you're not sure about anything, the editors are always happy to offer assistance. You can contact us by emailing editors@socialistparty.org.uk or calling 020 8988 8777 and asking to speak to an editor.


Writing

The Socialist is written by ordinary trade unionists, workers and students

The Socialist is written by ordinary trade unionists, workers and students   (Click to enlarge)

The most important work is done by our members and supporters around the country. We want you all to be 'journalists' for the Socialist - and think that anyone can do it. If you struggle with writing, we can even speak to you on the phone and type up what you say for you. You provide us with the insight into what's going on in campaigns and workplaces near you, into the mood among working class people, and the effects of austerity and capitalism.


Editing

Workplace and campaigns editor Scott editing an article

Workplace and campaigns editor Scott editing an article   (Click to enlarge)

Our job is to help you produce the best article you can, but the editors will always try as much as possible to maintain the article as you've written it. We want the paper to reflect working class voices in all their variation. We often have to cut words for length, we make changes for 'house-style' - to make sure there's a consistency to spelling and grammar throughout the paper - and may make changes or additions for clarification. We aim wherever possible to send the edit back to you in enough time for you to be able to check you are happy, although deadlines can make this difficult. Once the page editors have an edit they are happy with, it's looked over by the editor of the paper who may make small further changes. The editorial team works closely with the executive committee of the Socialist Party and others at the national centre to check the content of articles when necessary.


Laying out

The editors use Adobe InDesign to lay out the print edition - Sarah laid out these pages

The editors use Adobe InDesign to lay out the print edition - Sarah laid out these pages   (Click to enlarge)

Once there's an agreed edit of a page, it can be laid out. All of our editors can use the layout software. We try to have plenty of space for nice big photos and to pull out interesting facts, figures or quotes to be highlighted around the page. It really helps if you send us good quality photos with reports - most modern phone photos are fine, just be sure to send us the full-size file. If you have lots of photos to send, you can upload them to our FTP server, get in touch for details of how to do this. Try to get photos close enough to see faces, smiling if possible, and always from the front rather than backs of people's heads! Often if you ask at a meeting or protest, people will be happy to pose for a photo for you, which can often come out better.


Finishing

A proofing version (left) and final version (right) of page 6 - edited by Scott, laid out by James, proofed by Sarah and Ian

A proofing version (left) and final version (right) of page 6 - edited by Scott, laid out by James, proofed by Sarah and Ian   (Click to enlarge)

The laid out pages are given to two proof-readers who look for any mistakes that have been missed or crept in during layout. Once they've compared notes and everything's been corrected, the editor looks at the pages together to have a final check of headlines, dates and the overall look, and gives final approval. The files are then uploaded to our printers, Trinity Mirror.


Distributing

Mark Pickersgill packaging small paper orders for mailing - our print-shop has three full-timers: Mick Cotter, Martin Reynolds and Mark; our circulation manager is Chris Newby

Mark Pickersgill packaging small paper orders for mailing - our print-shop has three full-timers: Mick Cotter, Martin Reynolds and Mark; our circulation manager is Chris Newby   (Click to enlarge)

The physical papers are delivered first thing Wednesday morning to our print-shop, also in east London. There our circulation and printing teams package the bundles to be sent to Socialist Party branches, as well as the smaller packs for individuals to sell and for subscribers.

At the same time we're also getting the paper ready for online distribution. Two of the editors upload the content of the paper to our website and add appropriate links and photos. Our website editor then checks the homepage of the website and moves things around to make sure the most important articles are highlighted. Once everything's live on the website, we share the image of the front page of the Socialist to our Facebook page and schedule other key articles to be shared over the following few days.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

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In The Socialist 20 June 2018:


What we think

Desperate divisions in Tories - Corbyn and unions must act


News

Tory cash boost not enough - save our NHS

No to Trump's climate change chaos

Universal Credit delivers claimant misery

Refugee suicide scandal

Them & Us

What We Saw


International socialist news and analysis

Seattle council repeals Amazon Tax


1000 issues of the Socialist

1000 issues of the Socialist: A vital weapon standing in proud traditions

Greetings from readers of the Socialist

How do we produce the Socialist?


Workplace

DWP surrenders to union pressure - now vote Yes to smash pay cap for everyone

Rolls-Royce: fight all job cuts!

GMB union: NHS reps reject Tory pay offer

McStrikers and young workers take centre stage at bakers' union 2018 conference

Northern Rail strike reaches 21 days of action to save guards

Miners demand end to pensions robbery

Yorks NHS workers fight outsourcing

Unite agrees NSSN affiliation - come to the NSSN conference!


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Tamil Solidarity Day: intense, lively, thought-provoking

Grenfell disaster: one year on, still no prosecutions, still no adequate housing..

Organisers' school - an opportunity to educate and discuss

Leeds: Disability campaigners force council to retreat

Wrenford centre: Stop heartless Tory cuts

Knowsley council pushed back on cuts and privatisation

Orgreave - no justice, no peace


Opinion

Inspirational account of young Marx's political battles

Rousing, funny take on Marxism - from the man himself

The Socialist inbox


 

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