After more than 20 years in print, the Green Left Weekly has celebrated its 1000th issue, which was published on Wednesday.
The newspaper, distributed across Australia, views itself as a progressive alternative to growing levels of media concentration and actively campaigns for a range of causes including feminism, anti-imperialism and the protection of civil liberties.
At the beginning of the year the paper attempted to raise $100,000 before the 1000th issue hit the stands. This goal was achieved on February 20, with 21 days to spare.
“We rely on subscribers and donations, rather than advertising, to survive, so the ‘new media’ landscape has helped us get a wider readership,” said Mel Barnes, a co-editor of the newspaper.
“We give space for voices that are rarely heard in the mainstream media. Our writers are not professional journalists but people who are involved in community campaigns and report on these issues from a grassroots perspective.”
Green Left Weekly was founded in 1991 as an initiative of the Democratic Socialist Party, which no longer exists.
“But the paper continues a close relationship with the Socialist Alliance, whose members make up the bulk of volunteers who distribute the paper each week,”
The Socialist Alliance, a political party also involved in grassroots activism, has a column in the paper each week entitled ‘Our Common Cause’. Writing in the International Journal of Socialist Renewal, Ms Barnes said the two arms compliment each other to agitate for change.
“Although a newspaper is a useful tool to campaign for socialist ideas, people need to be organised to see these ideas become reality,” she wrote.
A number of luminaries have sent the paper praise for reaching its 1000th issue, including former Greens leader Senator Bob Brown, and veteran Australian journalist John Pilger.
“Those of you who produce Green Left Weekly should never regard yourselves as on the margins. In fact, you are the true mainstream,” said Pilger.
But the paper has drawn criticism from other media outlets. Former Labor adviser Troy Bramston decried it as having an “ignorant, moralistic and simplistic worldview” in his column in the Australian newspaper.
A launch event will be held at the Annandale Neighbourhood Centre on Saturday, March 15.