The Norwich Radical is now entering its third year. Having been created by two individuals, it has grown and developed into a team of more than 25 students, workers and activists, collaborating to bring together a publication that publishes daily progressive analysis of politics and the arts. We have published more than 650 articles, worked to mobilise activists to participate in campaigns and organised our first ever Progressive Media Conference, attended by more than 150 people.
Our politics and our values have always been at the centre of our operation. We are unashamedly from the political left. We believe that society is better structured around co-operation than competition. We believe that individuals are better served through networks of solidarity and collaboration than through being pitted against each other. We believe that collective endeavour has the potential to lead to a fairer, healthier, wealthier and happier society.
We believe the world is ours to change.
We see the trajectory of The Norwich Radical as intrinsically linked to our political position. As activists, we see the existence, dissemination and flourishing of left-wing ideas as crucial to struggle and political change. As such, we build our strategy upwards from our political beliefs. Without our values, any vision would be hollow.
We recognise the important role that we are capable of playing in offering new and alternative perspectives on issues and events. We seek to do that in a range of ways, not only through the publication of regular contributions from our extensive team of writers, but also by being proactive in our attempt to provide platforms to voices and views not prevalent within the mainstream media as well as through well developed, innovative series of articles.
In addition to establishing writers within our own collective, we recognise that we cannot operate in isolation from political actors external to us. We want to be viewed as a major player in the production and distribution of radical ideas, where change makers and influencers seek out opportunities to work with us, utilising the platform that we offer and our ability to reach different and more diverse audiences than other outlets can.
Similarly, we want to be embedded within a wider matrix of political radicals at a grassroots level. Having worked hard to establish ourselves as part of a progressive network within our city, this year we will go further, strengthening existing ties and building new ones. We seek to be an active ally of struggles within our community as well as agitating for change through campaigns we lead and initiate ourselves.
In doing so, we will never be trapped in the notion that there is one effective or preferred root to initiating change. We know that the ballot box, lobbying, grassroots campaigning, direct action and community organising have all proven to shift politics. But we also know that the arts and the written word have an important and crucial role to play, and we will never shy away from using unique and different means to espouse our views.
As such, and as we have learnt this year through our hosting of our first progressive media conference – War of Words – we acknowledge the importance of organising in a space outside of our online presence. We want to continue on the success of that project, delivering War of Words for a second year, as well as organising a collection of other events throughout the year.
One of the reasons we wish to build on what we achieved through War of Words is that we are keen to build a community surrounding The Norwich Radical that is wider than its writers and editors, but also includes our readers and our friends across the left. That’s why we’ll be reinventing ourselves as a membership organisation, made up of those who consider themselves aligned with our values. We will operate as a co-operative, with democracy, shared ownership, and collectivism built throughout.
But in spite of all of this, we are also aware of our flaws. We need to take seriously issues of diversity, particularly with regards to our editorial team, and we will take proactive steps to address them. We need to understand our readership better, the content they would like to see, and how they would like to receive it. We’ll be working to make our social media more effective, ensuring more astute targeting of different content, while also looking into new and alternative ways of getting our publication to different people.
This is our strategic vision for 2016/2017, as voted through by the editorial team at the Annual Review on April 17th 2016.