Volunteer Worker Correspondents Sought

On Ju ne 20, senior Peoples World editor Teresa Albano joined in an on-line webinar meeting with aspiring new writers. She made the point that writing for a workers' organization differs from capitalist journalism. The Communist Party needs "eyes and ears" in every part of the country, so every volunteer reporter is playing an important part.

There is a lesson module in our on-line school about being a worker correspondent. The main point is that everyone should begin right away. Write and send it in. You will learn if you try. You will never learn if you don't!

What Would You Write About?

Write what you think is important, but remember that the editors will have final say

The most likely pieces to get published are news. Your cartoons, poetry, and sermons may be beautiful -- and don't be afraid to submit them, but they are less likely to be published than news

Submit reports often. It isn't news if it's old. Sometimes, reports may be combined with other input. Sometimes, reports aren't published but are still useful to Party committees such as the Trade Union Commission

The two main issues going through this Fall will probably be:

Try to send digital photos

*Any photo is better than none

*Action photos are better than static ones

*144 pixels wide (2 inches on screen) to 720 pixels wide (10 inches) is good

*Nearly any digital camera can take adequate photos

*It's dangerous to use any photo that isn't your own original work

*Usually, "The closer you are to the subject, the better."

*Send just two or three photos at the most. It's possible to form a slide show, but better if you load it to their Picasa account for them. Videos can go on YouTube, then the article can include the link.

Write for the Peoples World Audience

"Always remember that the People's Weekly World is a fighting paper. It is the voice of the oppressed. It is a weapon of the working class, the Black liberation movement, the Puerto Rican people. It represents the Communist Party. And it is dedicated to the cause of world Socialism. Think of the readers as you write. Let their faces flash before your eyes as you hit the keys on your keyboard. Always ask yourself if your words are clear to this worker and that youth - Black, Brown and white - whom you know. Our readers are the salt of the earth. Keep close to them at all times." --Art Shields (premier labor reporter 1920s to 1980s)

Like Art Shields, tell the story as if to your friend. Don't assume that people in other parts of the country understand what's going on in your area. Include details

People don't "read" the web as much as they "scan"

What's more likely to work?

*graphics
*headlines
*breakers
*bullets

DON'T GET ALL WORRIED ABOUT "STYLE"

Just get your reports turned in quickly. The editors may change them anyway! Try to keep it under 600 words

WRITE REVIEWS

Some basic info that may be included in your review:
* facts such as directors, performers...
* did you, or did you not, LIKE it?
* how is it available to your readers? Is the movie in wide release, is the play on tour?
* In general, what type of event was it? drama? comedy?
* does this event have any particular social significance for our readers?
* for Heaven's sake, DON'T TELL THE ENDING!

Can someone write a review on a music CD? Heck yes!

Can someone write reviews on software and computer techniques that might help activists? Sure!

Got it published? PROMOTE IT!

*E-mail it to your friends, with an appropriate link
*Put it on your facebook page
*Quote it in a letter to the editor in your daily newspaper
*Make paper copies and hand them around

You're a published author! You may be surprised at how much credibility you have gained!

Examples of some stories we can learn from:

In English, Chinese and Spanish, low-wage workers demand rights bill
by: Marilyn Bechtel June 18 2010

Activists hear Christian leader
by: Jim Lane June 10 2010

What's the Main Point?

The main point is that everyone should begin right away. Write and send it in. You will learn if you try. You will never learn if you don't!

For the time being, volunteer worker correspondents should send their work to jimlane@cpusa.org.