Open Media Boston Launches New "Radical Boston" Section, Seeks Contributors
8 January 2014 - 4:41pm | superuser
by Jason Pramas (Staff)
After almost six years of doing nuts-and-bolts journalism about the activities of local progressive non-profits, unions, campaigns, parties, and movements, the Open Media Boston staff and I have been feeling like it's time to broaden our mandate beyond the kind of straight "this happened" reportage that we specialize in. Don't get me wrong, OMB was founded to do precisely that for a number of good reasons that I've discussed in the past (e.g., contemporary left publications allow far too much spewing of opinion, and do far too little hard journalism in my estimation). And we obviously don't plan to stop our coverage of pickets, strikes, lobby days, teach-ins, occupations and the like. Quite the reverse. More regular coverage of such activity is needed, and we're still working to find ways to fund that expanded coverage. However, we feel that the social movements that we care about will never succeed in their mission to build a more just and democratic society unless there are more public platforms where deeper discussion and debate about matters political economic, social and cultural is the order of the day.
So I'm pleased to announce a new OMB section that we're calling Radical Boston.
Radical Boston will run feature stories, interviews, and critical essays - plus articles on local radical history, recordings of speeches and conference proceedings, etc. Our focus will be to critique both Boston and Massachusetts politics from various left perspectives - and to critique organizations, institutions, and movements that are (or at least claim they are) working for social change in the Boston area. However, we're also interested in many other topics. Especially, and this will come as no surprise to those of you that know me a bit, anything to do with the art world and its discontents.
OMB is launching this effort because we're concerned that there's little critical discourse about Boston politics in the existing press from a left perspective - and very very little critical discourse from said perspective about Boston progressive and radical politics. We'd like to stop merely covering the fact of local left-wing political activity and starting delving more deeply into the whys and wherefores of such activity. With the goal of getting more support for left activism from an ever-larger percentage of the public at large. And to help left organizers to separate more wheat from chaff regarding what activism works effectively, and what doesn't.
We're also doing it because we know that there are many left intellectuals who produce interesting work for academic journals that deserve a larger audience - and need to places to present that work in a popular format towards that end.
Furthermore, we've noticed that there very few outlets for the kind of writing in question at all; so we thought that providing a new critical forum would be a good idea on principle.
For example, think about current political discussions in the Boston news media today. The debates around issues like housing, global warming and immigration are all conducted within a capitalist framework. Left-wing alternatives are either stripped of their political context and presented pragmatically, or (more typically) ignored entirely. Center left and center right commentators are given pride of place while left positions are given short shrift and left commentators rarely consulted.
So, we'd like to do our bit to push public discourse in the Boston area to the left. And we're starting now.
It's worth mentioning that while we're going to continue encouraging contributors to Radical Boston to produce work with the same focus on Boston that we have had in Open Media Boston's News section since our inception, we're now going to accept more work of regional, national and/or global interest - as long as the authors have some kind of connection to our fair city. We're doing this because Boston is a "global city," and there's very little that happens elsewhere on the planet that doesn't relate to what happening here. We also don't want to constrain talented people that have taken the time to develop expertise on some area of study from holding forth on the subjects they're most knowledgeable about.
Also, Radical Boston isn't just looking for writing. Photographers, audio and video folks are all welcome to submit work, too. If you've got an interesting photo essay or piece of audio or video journalism or commentary within our broad sphere of interest, we'd definitely like to check it out.
That said, if you're interested to contribute to Radical Boston send proposals to us anytime at info [at] openmediaboston [dot] org.
We look forward to your submissions.
Jason Pramas is Editor/Publisher of Open Media Boston
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