Is WNV objective journalism, or is it pushing some kind of activist agenda?
WNV is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, so — unlike, say, The New York Times — we are not able to endorse candidates for elected office even if we wanted to (which we don’t). While some of our writers are peace activists and other activists of various sorts, that is more a consequence of our subject area than of any agenda, per se. Just as Wired magazine is about technology (and tends to publish techies) and New York Magazine is about New York (and tends to publish New Yorkers), we cover the dynamics of nonviolent conflict, which we believe are often ignored or misunderstood in the news. We don’t expect or necessarily want writers to be committed ahead of time to some flavor of pacifism, or any such thing; we do expect that they show some interest and sophistication in understanding how ordinary people build power and wage conflict in non-military, non-oppressive ways.
Does WNV just cherry-pick stories that prove a certain kind of point?
In the same way that our history books and newspapers give us a selective reading of the world by so often fixating on the perceived efficacy of violence, we try to counter that by focusing on elements of history and the news that are less well-recognized, ones having to do with the theory and practice of nonviolent people power. Just as the strategies of war and violence are what the Military Channel chooses to focus on, the strategies of nonviolent resistance and peacebuilding are what we’re interested in.
Are you against violence of any kind, even in self-defense?
No particular doctrinal position underlies WNV’s editorial perspective except a commitment to reporting on nonviolent action around the world and helping to deepen our collective understanding of how and why it works. We welcome different voices in the conversations around nonviolence and civil resistance. Some people view nonviolence as a matter of absolute principle, whether it be religious or secular, while others are interested in nonviolent struggle under particular circumstances for mainly strategic reasons. We feel there is much to learn from both perspectives, as well as from others. As a rule of thumb — and forgive us using a phrase that, like so much of our language, has a violent provenance — we don’t publish any advocacy of military force or other overt forms of violence, most of all because there is already enough of such advocacy to go around. We recognize, however, that there are many gray areas and contested definitions, and what might seem like nonviolence to one person will seem like violence to another. For us, to wage nonviolence is to embrace conflict, so we try to embrace such conflicts in constructive ways.
What about people in country x, who are desperate and don’t have the benefit of being able to use nonviolent methods?
It isn’t our job to tell anyone what to do, especially not people fighting for justice against oppression as best they can. But one thing we do know is that many of the most powerful and important examples of nonviolent struggle have been — and are now — from among some of the least privileged, most oppressed people in the world. Our job is to share these stories, which can be tremendously empowering, and which too often go untold.
I have an article I published on my blog. Would WNV be interested in publishing it also?
In keeping with our mission to develop innovative news and analysis on nonviolent conflict, WNV does not republish previously published content. We do, however, direct our readers to relevant content published elsewhere through our Experiments With Truth section, and we always welcome tips.
Can I republish something I saw on WNV through my own website or other publication?
How is WNV funded, and how do you spend your money?
Our budget is composed of funds raised from individual donors, members and foundations. True to our commitment to grassroots action, we’d like to see our base of members grow to sustain the site — and you can help! Since our very first budget in 2011, after two years of operating on an entirely volunteer basis, we’ve had a commitment to paying contributors as much as we can afford to do original reporting. We have consistently tried to devote our resources as much as possible to the promising young reporters who need the support and the experience most. We also see our supporters as more than just those who donate money; anyone who joins a discussion in the comments or shares our content with a friend is helping our organization reach its goals.