Occupy Wall Street movement births newspaper

Last Saturday, prior to the thousands-strong march of Wall Street protestors attempting to cross the Brooklyn Bridge, which ended in some 700 arrests, the first edition of The Occupied Wall Street Journal hit New York City’s streets. Within three days, all 50,000 copies had been snapped up and distributed by volunteers throughout the five boroughs, leading to another print run Tuesday ahead of the paper’s second edition, which comes out Friday. The Journal, a 4-page weekly broadsheet funded entirely through online contributions at Kickstarter.com, is the latest manifestation of a social media-driven movement that is growing in real body numbers and gaining national momentum. 


San Francisco ponders participatory budgeting

Can process designed to engage community result in smarter spending?
This story appeared in the fall print edition and was part of the Building a Better Budget package of stories.
When Mayor Ed Lee ventured across San Francisco’s 11 districts this spring talking with residents about what to cut and what to save from the budget, he won praise for opening what some called a new era in fiscal discourse: giving people a more direct say about where their money is spent. But what if, rather than the mayor in the driver’s seat, it was the community itself that presented, weighed and voted on district budgets?


I.F. Stone’s radical idea

ESSAY: He believed that solid reporting could overcome the financial turmoil that plagued newspapers
In January of 1953, writing in the first edition of I.F. Stone’s Weekly, the Washington investigative journalist Isadore Feinstein — universally known as I.F. Stone — declared: “This weekly represents an attempt to keep alive through a difficult period the kind of independent radical journalism represented in various ways by PM, the New York Star and the Daily Compass,” three esteemed publications that for financial reasons had recently shut down. “This new enterprise,” he wrote, “embodies the hope that by beginning on a rock-bottom basis it will prove possible to survive and expand. The bald economics of daily newspaper publishing is enough to make the stoutest heart quail.” And for 19 years, week after week, Stone delivered audiences across North America and around the world a four-page newspaper pumped with meticulously documented research and witty analyses on the thorniest political subjects of his time, from McCarthyism to Vietnam. Nobody has rivaled his effort since.


Bay Area directors explore post-9/11 FBI entrapment in ‘Better This World’

Winner of the best documentary feature award at the San Francisco International Film Festival earlier this month, “Better This World,” a film by Kelly Duane de la Vega and Katie Galloway, looks at what happened to two young Texas activists imprisoned for allegedly plotting terrorist acts at the 2008 Republican National Convention in Minneapolis, and the dubious role that one charismatic activist played in their downfall. The co-directors spoke with the Public Press about domestic security problems, what drove them to make the film, and why the rest of us should care.