Feed the radical mind – breaking into the underground press

There is still at this time an active and free radical press. The purpose of this page is to compel and excite you to write for the revolution. Perhaps the first step is to establish the determination to write. Many publications can be intimidating when you first approach their ideology and tastes. It’s a good idea to read some of what they published and get a feel for them. The better publishers will give feedback on submitted material and communicate their needs for accepting your work. If their response is negative, don’t take it personally. Instead focus on how to make improvements. You may want to ask your friends to review your work and note their reactions to it. Consider their suggested edits, but have in mind that you don’t really have to change everything.

The approach you take to your writing may be the essence of what makes it radical, so take a look at what’s considered standard. The mainstream media divides journalism into three forms: front page news, feature and editorial. There’s nothing wrong with this but it has done a lot to create robots and perpetuate life under constant war and slavery. The front page news article usually comes in the form of an upside down pyramid, with the most important information the title and first paragraph. The style has the veneer of being objective, but there are many ways publishers disseminate bias in the way they frame the stories. Then there is the feature story. This is writing that builds up atmosphere or story and is common to magazines as well as newspapers. And then there is the editorial, which is basically an opinion piece. Radicals tend to write heavily in this style, with it usually resembling a rant. On the other side of this are the academic radicals that write as if arguing in a debate. They tend to use $5 words meant to stun the reader with their intelligence. This could be considered another form of soap box rambling.

The Counter-Culture press is at its best when it goes beyond just talking about problems and instead points to solutions—areas available for struggle, the development of new and creative tactics, hopeful stories about people who are changing things. An ideal radical article contains four parts. First, it ought to contain an analysis of a particular aspect of social reality that looks at the problem or phenomenon from a new angle or in a way that goes beyond “common wisdom” about the issue. Second, the article should suggest solutions, not just point out how fucked up things are. Third, the article should inspire folks to actually do something. Just understanding an issue and knowing a theoretical solution is not enough. Finally, the best articles have heart and are personal. We need media that goes beyond an academic, cold discourse and touches what is really human, precious and unique about each of our lives.

In addition to contributing to radical publications consider writing for mainstream publications, but injecting a radical perspective into them. Letters to the editor or op-eds are the most accessible. And of course we always recommend people start their own radical publication. Here are some radical publications that accept submissions:

The Earth First! Journal: collective@earthfirstjournal.org,

Fifth Estate: fe@fifthestate.org or Po Box 201016 Ferndale, MI 48220

Left Curve : Po Box 472 Oakland, CA 94604 editor@leftcurve.org

Graceless: graceless@graceless.info

MR&R: PO Box 460760 San Francisco, CA 94146-0760 mrr@maximumrocknroll.com

ANARCHY!: anarchymag.org/

RAD DAD: Tomas.moniz@gmail.com or 1636 Fairview St. Berkeley, CA 94703

Bitch Magazine: bitchmagazine.org/