Intelligence Report

News from behind the scenes

PHOTO: Alison Thorne / FS
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Every so often when I’m selling the Freedom Socialist on the street, someone trying to be clever will taunt, “How come you charge money — aren’t you supposed to be socialist?”

Unfortunately, on planet Earth in 2024, there’s no escaping capitalism.

The FS is a people-powered enterprise geared toward changing that. The majority of its creators are volunteers, from the managing and editorial teams all the way to helpers who prep the mailings and read the articles for the audio version.

Still, a couple staffers need regular FS paychecks to pay their bills. The labor costs for our hard-working production coordinator and part-time assistant in the business office are our biggest expenditures.

And other outlays are significant. It’s no secret that the newspaper industry is on life support, with printing and mailing expenses, including ours, rising exponentially. But unlike the big-business rags dedicated to maximum profits, we take no corporate advertising (not that Elon Musk or Bill Gates would offer it). And we keep the price of the paper lower than it costs to publish it so that everyone can afford it.

Our large fund drives every two or three years are a big part of what keeps us going, but they are not enough by themselves. They need to be supplemented month to month by donations from readers
like you.

Wouldn’t it be cheaper just to be online? We will have more to say about this in a future Intelligence Report. For now, though, let’s just note that for making connections, nothing beats face-to-face contact in the real, material world. And the FS is all about making connections and bringing people and causes together. As in, “From Ukraine to Palestine, occupation is a crime!”

This column inaugurates a new FS feature in which editors will lift the curtain on goings-on behind the scenes. We’ll do our best to tell you why staffers and contributors from around the world do what we do — why we think a revolutionary feminist newspaper is something the world needs.

We’ll talk about what it takes to produce this labor of love, and how you can help — starting right now with a donation by visiting socialism.com/make-a-contribution.

If you can pledge a regular offering, Marx bless you. Stay tuned for further briefings!

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