Hello ZNet Update Recipient,
The folks at The NewStandard need our help.
I have spent years working to get people thinking about alternative
economics, and especially the vision of parecon. A high point of this
type work occurs whenever people not only begin to relate to the ideas
of participatory economics, but put some of the principles into
practice. But this is no easy task. It runs up against our prior
expectations and training. It runs up against all that we see around us
about how to work in a business. It runs up against our family's
expectations, our friends, and even our own, for how we live our lives.
It runs up against the pressures of banks, granters, and competitive
exchange. It is anti-greed amidst greediness. It is anti-elitist amidst
elitism. It is bottom up amidst top down. It fosters enriched democracy
Imagine trying to build sustainability and stewardship amidst polluted
priorities. Imagine trying to create justice amidst criminality. Imagine
trying to foster feminism amidst patriarchy. Imagine trying to establish
multi-culturalism amidst Jim Crow racism.
The NewStandard (TNS), an online, hard news publication, does all that.
We live in a class-divided, class-ruled economy - and yet the folks at
TNS are incredibly busy creating a classless project. It is not easy to
exist in a sea of venality. We all know that. To create a flourishing
island of liberation in that sea, that promotes liberation for self and
others, as well, is a very difficult undertaking.
TNS's radical priorities contest markets, management structures, and
ownership relations. For TNS's members to build their pareconish
institution has been hard and I am writing to ask you to please turn
your eyes to The NewStandard and to the folks there who have already
created a progressive online newspaper, and who have already formed one
of the most promising pareconish models I am aware of, but who need help
TNS was started by two members of the Z family, Brian Dominick and
Jessica Azulay, who have been, and remain, instructors at the Z Media
Institute. These folks are friends of mine. I admit, and that probably
affects my view of them, raising my impression from thinking they are
outstanding to thinking they are beyond superlative. But there is no
subjectivity in my noticing and letting you know that they are
incredibly hard working and devoted students, teachers, and exemplars of
not only the best of alternative media, but also the best of creating
seeds of the future in the present. And there is no subjectivity in my
hearing and conveying on to you that they are confronting deadly
financial woes. And there is no subjectivity, either, in wondering, can
we help them? It is a material issue. It is an issue of our will and our
Over the past three years, the collective behind TNS has expanded from
two to six members. They have maintained balanced job complexes. They
have received the same pay for comparable effort regardless of
seniority, age, race, and gender. They have practiced self management.
And TNS now faces a turning point. Are they going to preserve and
enlarge their achievements, building their media project further, or are
they going to pass into history, an exemplar that didn't get enough
support to become a permanent part of left creativity?
Even setting aside that TNS is a unique journalistic venture that
attempts to challenge mainstream news outlets at their own game of
providing hard, primary-source news as compared to the
commentary/analysis featured by most leftist sites, and that it deserves
help on those grounds, TNS also deserves our help because its staff is
putting into practice a model that challenges the very structure of
Like Z, TNS rejects advertising and refuses to sell its readership to
the highest bidder. TNS doesn't accept foundation grants, because they
want to remain free of the strings foundations typically attach to such
offers. Truly independent media like TNS is very rare, not least because
it is so hard to sustain financially. There is no bank that TNS can go
to for millions upon millions of dollars to grow to become bigger than
the Associated Press. It has to do that the hard way, against all the
The NewStandard's funding model is similar to ZNet's Sustainer Program -
TNS asks for people to join and donate on a recurring basis. This
provides TNS the stability they need to plan ahead.
Why I am writing to you today, and what I am asking of you today, is
that you please consider becoming a member of TNS.
Please consider putting your support behind TNS's dual mission of
providing daily news from a people's point of view and running an
organization in pursuit of the better world we're all trying to create.
You can find TNS at: http://newstandardnews.net
You can pledge to donate at: http://newstandardnews.net/pledge
Together, we can keep them online.