AT THE Socialist Worker office we try to make sure your paper is as good as possible and looks professional. But what we do in the office is only a small part of what makes up the paper.
Socialist Worker is fundamentally different from other newspapers. Our biggest resource by far is our readers.
We depend on you to be the paper's eyes and ears.
If something is happening in your town, workplace or college-a campaign or a protest, a meeting or strike perhaps-the main national newspapers are unlikely to touch it.
We can and will, but only because our readers tell us about it. We don't just want you to tell us things. We also want you to write for Socialist Worker.
The best reports on what is happening in an area or a workplace are those written by someone involved on the ground.
Socialist Worker is different in another important way. The paper is sold in some newsagents. Supporters also organise to sell the paper on high streets, outside stations or workplaces.
But most sales are through readers selling a few copies to their workmates or friends, to fellow activists or people in their locality.
We want these one to one sales to be the core of the paper's circulation. That's because we want the paper to connect activists together in every area, helping to create the networks which shape and change what happens.
Small links created by individuals selling a few copies of Socialist Worker mesh together to create a wider network.
The Russian revolutionary Lenin compared the role a socialist newspaper could play in building a powerful movement to the scaffolding around a building.
The scaffolding is not the building, and the paper is not the movement. But the network of paper readers and sellers can build and strengthen the movement.
The challenges we face in Britain today are immense. Can we finish off Blair? Can we fight back against the Tory policies that he, and any New Labour successor, pushes?
Can we roll back the tide of racism against refugees, and beat back the Nazis of the BNP?
The more powerful the networks of activists in every area, and across Britain, the greater the chance we will be able to give the best answer to those questions and contribute to a left wing alternative to the mainstream parties.
The millions who marched against war on 15 February gave a glimpse of the power we have, a power with potential to change the world for the better.
We believe a socialist newspaper can help realise that potential. We hope you agree, and will help in whatever way you can to build the circulation of your paper.
SOCIALIST WORKER EDITORIAL TEAM
'The importance of Socialist Worker has grown enormously because of its brilliant coverage of the anti-globalisation and Stop the War campaign, which are at the centre of world politics. Everyone in the progressive movement should read it.'
You make news, so write about it
WE RUN articles by well known figures in the movement, such as John Pilger or Arundhati Roy. But every reader has something they can contribute.
You don't have to be a professional writer or photographer. We want to hear the stories that reflect what it feels like to live, work and struggle in Blair's Britain in your own words and pictures.
We want to know, for example, what it feels like to get up at 4am every morning to start your early morning shift at the postal delivery office.
We want to hear from you if you've just had to wait ten hours in an accident and emergency department where the staff are run ragged.
Every week at least three pages of Socialist Worker are written by our readers. We want to expand on that. Why not write down your experiences and send them in to us?
You don't have to write hundreds of words. Sometimes a few comments can encapsulate the way thousands of other people in your position feel.
One of the best articles Socialist Worker has run recently was sent in by a healthcare assistant who works in a hospital in the Wirral, Merseyside.
He wrote a moving account of what it feels like working in Blair's 'modernised' NHS and compared his feelings to those described by the characters in the classic socialist novel The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists.
Perhaps you've watched a TV programme that made your blood boil. Instead of throwing a brick through the TV why not let off steam and send us a quick e-mail with your comments.
Or why not let us know about an inspiring programme, film, play or exhibition you've seen.
The earlier we receive letters the better, but we need to receive them by 12 noon on Monday for inclusion in that week's issue.
We also want reports and pictures from your area-whether it's a local anti-war rally, a strike or a protest.
It doesn't matter how small you think the meeting or protest is. Maybe there are similar protests taking place in towns elsewhere.
It's only by reporting on the local struggles that we can get the total picture.
We want to hear about any dispute or strike in your local area. You don't have to be involved yourself. And you don't have to have been active in the movement for years.
Maybe you read about it in the local paper or heard about it on the radio. You can still visit the picket lines or protests and talk to those involved.
Make sure you find out the basic facts of the story-what the dispute or meeting is about, where it is taking place, how many are involved, why people are angry.
Remember too that old cliche-a picture says a thousand words.
E-mail makes it much easier for you to get your stories and pictures in to Socialist Worker, especially if you have access to a digital camera.
But don't worry if you haven't got access to e-mail. Just give us a ring and we can take down your stories and discuss the best way of getting in pictures.
And when we print your story or picture, don't forget to go back to those workers or activists involved to make sure they get the issue with their story in it and encourage them to continue to contribute to Socialist Worker.
How to send in reports
PLEASE CONTACT us if there is anything you want to get into the paper.
You can post developed pictures, but in many areas people will know someone with a digital camera.
The camera should be set so the file size is between 200KB and 1MB, and pictures should be sent in JPEG format.
The deadline for reports and pictures is 12 noon on the Monday of the week the paper appears.
Phone 020 7538 0828 and ask for Judy Cox. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
'Before reading Socialist Worker I always questioned why things were a certain way in the world. The injustice and inequality angered me. When I read the paper it was a revelation for me, a new way of thinking.'
SHABEENA MUGHAL anti-war activist
A network of sellers
YOUR REPORTS build the circulation of Socialist Worker. Here are three recent examples of how it works.
(1) We carried reports from the picket line by low paid hospital workers on strike in north Lincolnshire. It wasn't only the strikers who bought the paper who read it. Workers in the same grades in a hospital in Bolton also read about the strike. The reports helped convince them they were not the only ones who had had enough of low pay. That added to their confidence to take action themselves.
(2) A postal worker and another Socialist Worker reader went to their local bus depot in Exeter when there was a vote for strikes. They sent in regular reports based on talking to workers there. They went back each week to sell the paper to the drivers. The coverage also contributed to building a vibrant support group for the bus strikers.
(3) Council workers reported on the recent all-out strike by nursery nurses in east London. The reports in Socialist Worker were read out on the picket lines and at protests. Seeing the reports lifted the strikers' confidence, say union activists. They could also read about other struggles, such as strikes by nursery nurses in Scotland, and build on those experiences.
Come and discuss what you want from the paper and how we can expand circulation. A series of meetings have been arranged around the country:
Birmingham Sunday 7 September, 3.30pm, United Services Club, Gough St, city centre. With Charlie Kimber and Yuri Prasad.
Cambridge Thursday 18 September, 7pm, CB2 Cafe, Norfolk St. With Paul McGarr and Joseph Choonara.
Chesterfield Wednesday 24 September, 7pm, Assembly Rooms, Market Hall.
East Anglia Monday 15 September, 8pm, Rad Hall, Walsingham Rd, Colchester.
Glasgow Sunday 7 September, 2pm, Lauries Bar, King St. With Chris Harman and Helen Shooter.
Hackney Tuesday 9 September, 7.30pm, Halkevi Centre, 92-100 Stoke Newington Rd. With Chris Harman
Home Counties Sunday 7 September, 2pm, High Town Recreation Centre, Old Bedford Rd, Luton With Hazel Croft
Kent Saturday 13 September, 2pm, St Peter's Methodist Church, St Peter's St, Canterbury.
Lancashire Wednesday 10 September, 7.30pm, Bangor Street Community Centre, Blackburn.
Manchester Saturday 6 September, 2pm, Friends Meeting House, Mount St (behind Central Library). With Chris Harman and Helen Shooter.
Merseyside Friday 5 September With Chris Harman and Helen Shooter
North West London Monday 22 September, 7pm, Willesden Green Library, Willesden High Rd.
Norwich Thursday 11 September, 7.30pm, Owen's Cafe Bar, Farmers Ave (behind Bell Hotel). With Joseph Choonara.
Nottingham Friday 12 September, 6.30pm, International Community Centre, 61b Mansfield Rd.
Sheffield Wednesday 17 September, 7.30pm, United Reform Church, Chapel Walk, city centre.
South East London Thursday 4 September, 7pm Moonbow Jake's, New Cross Rd (nr New Cross tube). With Charlie Kimber.
Southampton Sunday 7 September, 5pm, City Parish Hall, St Mary's Rd, (next to African-Caribbean Centre). With Joseph Choonara.
Tyneside Sunday 21 September, 3pm, Trinity Centre, Gateshead High St. With Kevin Ovenden.
Waltham forest Wednesday 10 September, 7.30pm, Wanstead House, 21 The Green, Wanstead.