Democracy on the edge

A note from the editor

Vanessa Baird

Democracy’s edge

Sometimes, no, often, it’s the thing that’s staring you in the face that you do not see; the dramatic scene being played out far away is what defines the subject – in this case, democracy. As I finish this magazine, democracy’s recent big story has been the tumult around the US elections.

I was trying to think more broadly, and literally, about the meaning of democracy – power ‘held’ (kratos, in Greek) by the ‘people’ (demos) – and how we might practise it in our daily lives. Yet, here it is. Staring me in the face. The place where I have spent most of my working life.

At the time I joined New Internationalist it was a flat-structure workers’ co-operative. That structure remains but the co-op is now owned by its readers (over 3,600 of them) and its workers. We have no boss. There’s no ‘editor-in-chief’, no ‘managing director’ or any of that nonsense. It’s collective self-rule and decision-making. No-one tells us what to write and there’s no conscious or unconscious pressure to conform to a proprietor’s political or business interests.

But, like so many sectors, independent media has been hit hard by Covid-19 and we are no exception. That’s why, in a couple of months’ time, we will be asking our supporters to join us in a plan to strengthen and protect New Internationalist in the years to come.

Find out more from Laura.

Vanessa Baird for the New Internationalist co-operative.
www.newint.org

The big story

A mural featuring a pro-Trump protester, self-styled QAnon ‘shaman’ Jacob Chansley, appeared in Tunbridge Wells, UK, a few days after the storming of the US Congress in Washington on 6 January. Photo: Karwai Tang/Wireimage/Getty

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Photo: Karwai Tang/Wireimage/Getty

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