New Internationalist magazine marks 50 years with appeal for free school subs

The publication, launched in 1973, is now backed by over 4,000 reader members

Media co-op New Internationalist is marking its 50th anniversary with an appeal to readers, seeking support for a new initiative to provide free subscriptions for schools.

Launched in 1973, New Internationalist magazine has its roots in student campaign group Third World First (now People & Planet), as well as Oxfam and Christian Aid. 

Seeking to give its readers a better understanding of international development and social justice issues around the world, the magazine features a broad range of contributors from the Global South. Recent topics covered by the bi-monthly publication include Palestine, the global ‘cost of greed’ crisis and decolonisation.

Previously run as a worker co-op, New Internationalist transitioned to a co-operative society structure in 2017, giving its readers the chance to become owner-members.

Between 1 March and 6 April of that year, 3,409 people invested £704,114 in the co-op via its ‘Buy into a better story campaign’, making it the biggest media community share offer in history.

In an effort to reach the next generation of readers, New Internationalist has launched a solidarity fund to support free magazine subscriptions for schools, campaign groups and activists. Readers of New Internationalist can support the fund by making a monthly donation.

“We’re proud to be marking 50 years of independent, campaigning journalism,” said co-editor Conrad Landin. “The world is a very different place from that of 1973, but the struggle for global justice is as important as ever.

“New Internationalist amplifies the voices you won’t hear in the mainstream media, and gives readers the tools to build a better world. We’ve launched our Solidarity Fund because we know that the next generation of activists will need both reliable information and stories of hope as they strive to achieve that.”

New Internationalist now has more than 4,000 reader co-owners, who are represented via a common council and can vote on potential magazine themes at the annual AGM. 

Contributing editor Vanessa Baird, who co-edited the magazine from 1986 to 2021, said: ‘As the world has changed, so has New Internationalist, expanding its concerns, exploring and contributing to revolutions in feminism, environmentalism, personal and identity politics and global and climate justice. But our magazine has retained its core commitment to tackling social and economic inequality in a way that is both radical and accessible.

“The solidarity fund is a perfect combination of solidarity, education, and getting radical ideas into the mainstream, in a way that recognises the pressures caused by today’s cost-of-living crisis.”

Supporters can sign up to contribute to NI and its solidarity fund at newint.org/give – and schools and campaign groups which wish to benefit from a solidarity subscription should contact [email protected]

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