Monday, 17 December 2007

I've been kind-of-semi-sort-of-quasi-web-published

The New Internationalist magazine are using one of my poems to promote the latest issue, "Corporate Responsibility Unmasked". Don't let this put you off, though: it's a great (and very timely) edition of the magazine, and you should definitely check it out.

The NI is one of those publications that despite still having a lot of subscribers (about 35,000 apparently, more than the New Statesman, the Ecologist or any other ostensibly left-wing UK magazine), it hasn't really established itself on the web yet and so seems to have slipped off a lot of people's radars. This is a real shame, as it's one of the most consistently well-researched, incisive and thought-provoking publications around. Although I do need to declare an interest here (my girlfriend is one of the editors), there aren't many magazines out there that have managed to remain fiercely independent (unlike most political magazines, they have no wealthy backers and are kept afloat by sales alone; they're also very strict about what advertising they accept), continually tell stories that no-one else is telling, bring in marginalised voices from around the world, undertake proper research and write stuff that is genuinely interesting rather than the recycled opinion and ill-informed bile that passes for analysis in most "current affairs" magazines.

Sometimes it's rather dense, or a bit too worthy; they also really need to sort out their web presence and get more up-to-date stuff online. However, when you're trying to find out what's really going on in the world behind the puffing, pouting and posturing of the corporate media, then the NI rarely disappoints. If Corporate Watch is the fervent, fired-up colleague who meets you in the pub to tell you about the shocking new scandal they've just uncovered, and Schnews is the friend who bangs on your door unexpectedly to drag you out to some outrageous event that you'd no idea was happening, then the NI is the knowledgeable, worldly-wise mate that you go to when you're feeling confused about something important and want to talk it through properly, figure out what to think, and decide exactly which piece of planet-wrecking machinery you most need to D-lock yourself to.

However, magazine subscriptions are falling across the board, and the NI's aforementioned stringent advertising policies and lack of billionaire backing mean that if we want it to continue to exist, we need to keep supporting it. So check out the latest edition, sign up for their free trial subscription (if you're not already a subscriber), and help raise their online profile by giving them a friendly link or two!

This shameless pluggery is now over, and I'm going home to make some soup.