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March 17, 1988 - Image 38

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-03-17

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1.C A L L E G E L I F E

Rejecting the establishment: At UCLA, the Free Association staff pitches in to mail out the p
Thunder on the Left
Liberal-to-radical papers challenge conservative pre

serve a void of debate," says
CNP's Julie Goetz.
During the '60s and well into
the '70s, the term "alternative
press" was almost synonymous
with left wing. But in tandem
with the Reagan revolution,
a well-organized conservative
press sprang up in the early
'80s, pioneered by the ram-
bunctious Dartmouth Review.
Now almost 40 of the right-
wing papers, with a total press
run of more than 250,000
copies, are associated with the
conservative Institute for Edu-
cational Affairs, which dis-
penses $100,000 each year.
Active voice: The left-wing
revival began about four
years ago when rallies against
CIA recruitment and apartheid
brought together student activ-
ists, many of whom decided to
start publications. "A newspa-
per is less confrontational than
REIER sit-ins and may have greater
aiper long-term effect," says Tim
Strawn, a UCLA library staffer
who writes for the school's
year-old Free Association. Ad-
vances in laser printing and
computer technology, mean-
while, made desktop publish-
~ss ing more affordable.
The new alternative papers
share some things with their
ebears, including the complaint that the
instream press is biased and riddled
h racism and sexism. (In a '60s replay,
le radical journalists even call the
instream "the pig press.") "We're try-
to offer a perspective that's different
m the basic white male perspective,"
s Sarah Becker of Critical Times, a
lass-Amherst monthly. Some reject the
ablishment's organization; the mast-
id on the University of Vermont's Gad-
identifies a collective of "workers" in-
ad of a traditional list of editors and
ff. Others reject old labels. "'Left wing'
sounds like a bunch of weirdos who go
und in long hair and beads," says Greg-
Arnold Russell, a Free Association edi-
tor. "We like to call ourselves
Most papers share a predictable
hit parade: pro-choice on abor-
tion, against contra aid and SDI.
Some offer an eclectic mix. Michi-
gan's Chromolume prints essays
denouncing mandatory premari-
tal AIDS testing and the death
penalty, and supporting surro-
gate motherhood. Others relate
off-campus stories to local events:
Critical Times ran a lead item last
es October about local Rainbow Co-


n a time when newspaper competition
has virtually disappeared from most cit-
ies, Harvard students can find a journal-
istic free-for-all in Cambridge, Mass. Three
alternative newspapers-the conservative
Salient, the liberal Perspective and the
radical Subterranean Review*-clamor
with the mainstream daily
Crimson and weekly Inde-,
pendent for reader atten-
tion. Last year two of the al-
ternatives even fought a
coupon war. The Salient Loc
asked readers to mail in a
slip demanding a refund of Jack
the part of a health-services
fee used for abortion refer-
rals, amounting to about
$1.25. The Perspective re-
sponded with its own cou-
pon, declaring: "I object to ev-
erything my tuition funds ...
Please send me a refund of $16,115."
After several years of conservative
domination of the alternative press, lib-
eral newspapers are fighting back with
their own swordlike pens. Last summer the
Center for National Policy, a liberal think
'Harvard correspondent Felicia Kornbluh, who
contributed to this story, is a founding editor of
Subterranean Review.

tank in Washington, formed Campus Jour-
nalsNetwork-16 liberal-to-radical papers
with a combined press run of more than
110,000 copies. CNP has raised $27,000
from private sources and offers seed grants
of $800 to $2,500 to foundling papers for
printing,postageandsupplies. "It'sawayto
~tica1 times.
01ts, : 17 4


Enumti Huei
Diversity: UMass, Harvard and Syracuse issu


APRIL 1988

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