I have written a number of pieces about the ills of the Internet, and particularly those of Facebook and Twitter, of late, so I thought I might balance it out with a more positive piece. However, since everyone knows the general benefits of online connection, a general listing of such benefits has little point. Thus, instead, here is a guide to some sites of special merit and value – at least in my eyes. Maybe such a list will be a bit of a service for those who are not yet acquainted with these in some cases somewhat hard to find offerings.
Of course there are other sites that are politically informative, inspiring, relevant, etc. – not to mention sites that have nothing much to do with politics but are quite helpful or useful in other ways – about which I will have nothing to say here. Hopefully without offending anyone left off, this short list of will be helpful for typical users of ZCom. If readers have other suggestions, by all means append them via a comment!
My apologies that these are all English language sites – I can’t read anything else, sadly, and so can’t first hand comment on anything else.
TomDispatch: The writing of Tom Englehardt is itself enough to warrant regular visits – but the Tom also amasses work by others, always in depth, always clearly and cogently written, always on the mark. A few pieces each week, but typically each is sterling. Z republishes nearly every one… but there is much else on the site to edify and inspire…
The New Significance: “The New Significance” was set up to explore possibilities for revolutionary change in the 21st Century. This effort rests on belief in struggle for a a new society that is autonomous, classless, self-managing, mutually-aiding, solidaridous, diverse, and participatory across all spheres of life. Content such as theory, commentary, and analysis — not always complementary and sometimes contradictory — will be published alongside art, journalism, audio, video, and culture generally.
New Left Project: New Left Project based in the UK, seeks – via its website – to contribute to and facilitate broad-based campaigning for progressive political change, in line with the values, beliefs and opinions set out above. We will engage with as wide a range of issues as our knowledge and resources will allow; from climate change, to economics, foreign affairs, and many others. Their focus reflects that they are UK-based, but also that they recognise and value the long-standing internationalist tradition in progressive politics. Content is very much in the same Channels as Z…\
RoarMag: Reflections on a Revolution (ROAR) a babe of an institution born in 2010, is an online magazine that seeks to amplify the voice of today youth amidst the clamorous cacophony of a rapidly changing world. ROAR aims to bring you some of the world’s most inspiring news, stories, analysis, ideas, actions, books, poems, tunes, photos, videos and doodles from the front-lines of the global justice movement, and succeeds admirably.
Pambazuka News: Through the voices of the peoples of Africa and the global South, Pambazuka Press and Pambazuka News disseminate analysis and debate on the struggle for freedom and justice. A great source for African rooted insights and analysis.
MR/MRZine: In May 1949 Monthly R0eview began publication in New York City, as cold war hysteria gathered force in the United States. It has been monthly, independent, insightful, and socialist ever since – and has published hundreds of books as well as the journal. MRZine, a daily web magazine, began in 2006. MR inspired by its existence and tenacity the birth of Z – and it lives on, inspiring now, as well.
Red Pepper: Red Pepper is a bi-monthly magazine and website of left politics and culture. We’re a socialist publication drawing heavily on feminist, green and libertarian politics. We seek to be a space for debate on the left, a resource for movements for social justice, and a home for anyone who wants to see a world based on equality, meaningful democracy and freedom. Arguably, ZEngland… or Z is arguably PepperUS.
Dollars and Sense: Dollars & Sense, based in Massachusetts, in the U.S. – like Z – and also collective like Z – publishes economic news and analysis, reports on economic justice activism, primers on economic topics, and critiques of the mainstream media's coverage of the economy. Their readers include professors, students, and activists who value smart and accessible economic coverage – it should include you, too! And they do anthologies and texts as well. Along with Dollars and Sense, the place to go for an education in the working of capitalism today.
New Politics: New Politics, published since 1986 as a semi-annual, follows in the tradition established in its first series (1961-1978) as an independent socialist forum for dialogue and debate on the left. It is committed to the advancement of the peace and anti-intervention movements. It stands in opposition to all forms of imperialism, and is uncompromising in its defense of feminism and affirmative action. In our pages there is broad coverage of labor and social movements, the international scene, as well as emphasis on cultural and intellectual history.
Jack Rasmus’ Blog: One Man’s blog, a trained economist, analyst in the past for global companies, local union president, contract negotiator, ubion organizer, fiction and non fiction author, and now blogger with a flair – yet another essential source for economic insight…whose work Z regularly features.
John Pilger's Blog: Another man's blog – essays, films, and all things Pilger. A UK site suitable for viewing and using everywhere in the world…with Z's regular writer John Pilger front and center. Focuses international relations.
The Killing Train: Justin Podurs blog site – another Z regular writer with a trove of blog posts on all things political. Focuses issues of race and activist strategy.
Labor Notes: Labor Notes is a media and organizing project that has been the voice of union activists who want to put the movement back in the labor movement since 1979. With a magazine, website, books, conferences and workshops, Labor Notes promotes organizing, aggressive strategies to fight concessions, alliances with workers’ centers, and unions that are run by their members. the site is a regularly updated source of labor updates, reporting, and analysis.
Center for Economic and Policy Research: Featuring the work of Mark Weisbrot and Dean Baker, but accumulating piece by others too, this site is a repository of brilliantly clear and informative economic data and analysis. Along with Dollars and Sense, the place to go for an education in the working of capitalism today.
The Independent’s Robert Fisk: The Independent is a mainstream newspaper. But Robert Fisk is a treaure of a journalist who happens to write for it. Visit his page and see his accumulated coverage, overwhelmingly of Middle East affairs and event.
Le Monde Diplomatique: Le Monde diplomatique is a world famous voice in journalism dating back to 1954. Based in Paris, under the umbrella of the French daily newspaper Le Monde, it has acquired an international reputation for incisive monthly articles. In 1996 it won editorial and financial independence by forming its own company (1). Content, while it changes only monthly, is, at those moments, wide and deep…
Institute for Policy Studies: IPS is a community of public scholars and organizers linking peace, justice, and the environment in the U.S. and globally. We work with social movements to promote true democracy and challenge concentrated wealth, corporate influence, and military power. The site links to Institute projects and presents essays and reports by members.
Transnational Institute: TNI carries out radical informed analysis on critical global issues, builds alliances with social movements. develops proposals for a more sustainable, just and democratic world. TNI was founded in 1974 as the international programme of the Washington DC-based Institute for Policy Studies. For more than 30 years, TNI’s history has been entwined with the history of global social movements and their struggle for economic, social and environmental justice. The site presents work by its fellows…
Spectrazine: This is a radical journal of the European Left that is open to all sections of the radical left. An excellent source for in depth anti sectarian writing about events in Europe.
Aljazeera: Not exactly left, not exactly mainstream – the largest insightful source of news in the world. Go here to get reliable on the scene reporting…
Democracy Now: Radio, and video too, Democracy Now! is a national, daily, independent, U.S. based award-winning news program hosted by journalists Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez. This is left journalism, featuring interviews, always internationalist in scope, and daily in delivery.
Rabble: rabble.ca was built on the efforts of progressive journalists, writers, artists and activists across Canada and launched in 2001, just before the protests against the Summit of the Americas in Quebec City. It is coverage from the point of view of the rabble. For a Canadian angle, and Canadian content, a fine soure!
The Dominion: The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada since 2003. It provides critical coverage accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. The Dominion can be read online or in print and is a media cooperative project.
Pragoti: Pragoti (a Sanskrit word meaning Progress) is a website which seeks to create a space for progressive and democratic minded persons who stand for Left and Democratic Alternatives in India and support progressive causes worldwide. Pragoti is dedicated to the task of creating a repository of news, articles and views from a Left perspective on the internet. Besides carrying contemporary, analytical and objective articles, Pragoti also offers a forum to debate, discuss and propagate views from the Left. The Pragoti team comprises of volunteers who share the vision of the Left movement in India.
Viewpoint: Viewpoint is a non-profit venture organised on a voluntary basis. It is an activist alternative to the corporate-mainstream media. Viewpoint is an outlet for voices hushed up or ignored in the corporate media due to business interests or anti-working class ideology. Viewpoint's pages are safe havens for dissenting voices. Relaunched on 21st May 2010 as an e-zine, Viewpoint has a long history of struggle for democracy, human rights and justice in Pakistan.