Today, we are unveiling a fresh new look on Waging Nonviolence. Even more importantly, we’re also launching a new approach to the way we cover movements. In short, Waging Nonviolence is now a platform for movement media. We will continue to publish the in-depth news and analysis you’ve come to expect from us, but we have also added a new community section where peace and justice organizations — as well as university research centers — will share their perspectives and stories. With all of our voices on a shared media platform, we’re confident that the sum of our parts will produce a more powerful message than any of our individual efforts.
Before we introduce you to the new members of our community and explain some of the other new site features, we’d like to tell you a bit about how we got to this point.
It was 10 years ago when three young writers and activists launched Waging Nonviolence. At the time, we noticed a dearth of reporting on nonviolent action. So, we thought, “Why not start a blog?” It was 2009, after all — that’s what you did when you saw a gap in media coverage.
As we quickly discovered, running a publication was no small endeavor. If we wanted to reach beyond our limited knowledge and experience, we realized we needed to seek other voices. We slowly shifted from writing to editing, and began working with journalists and activists all over the world. Things snowballed, we received some seed funding, and in time we built a diverse network of over 450 contributors from more than 80 countries. In the decade since our debut, we have published over 3,500 articles, podcasts and videos offering original reporting and analysis from the frontlines of change.
We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished. But there have also been many challenges, particularly the constant pressures of fundraising and new obstacles to reaching our audience from gatekeepers like Facebook and Google. At the same time, we’ve also observed a notable decline in other sources of movement media, as once-leading historic nonviolence publications have either shut down or scaled back in recent years.
Recognizing the strength in working together, we saw an opportunity to use Waging Nonviolence as a space to make movement media stronger at this crucial political moment. So, we developed the platform model you can now see under our “Community” section. As of today, there are three active community members: The Fellowship of Reconciliation, Campaign Nonviolence and Metta Center for Nonviolence. In the coming weeks, four more will be joining their ranks: War Resisters League and three universities (Rutgers-Newark’s International Institute for Peace, UMass Amherst’s Resistance Studies Initiative and Juniata College’s Baker Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies).
Each member is a leader in our field — be it through organizing, culture shifting or research — and we’re proud to be working with them.
As dues-paying members of the Waging Nonviolence community, these organizations are entitled to a number of services, including their own dedicated page, the ability to publish their own content and receive some editorial support. That being said, the views they express are their own. This is what makes Waging Nonviolence a platform for movement media: it hosts a multitude of voices and perspectives, united by their interest in issues of peace and justice.
To learn more about our community membership program, check out this explainer.
As for other new features on the site, our new archive easily sorts the last decade of Waging Nonviolence content, serving as an aid to researchers and a resource to today’s organizers. A new section called WNV Top Reads will highlight our favorite movement-related stories from around the web, reviving an old feature on the site. We also have a new approach to privacy that prioritizes the security and anonymity of our readers, who can use the site without revealing any personal information.
Over the next year, we plan to continue growing the platform with more community members, while also rolling out new features, like a podcast network and expanded video content.
In sum, the launch of this new site, has us feeling extremely positive about the future of movement media. And with the explosion of activism around the world over the last few years, it couldn’t come at a better time.
What’s more, it couldn’t have come without all the people who have helped us along the way: our new community members, our contributors, our advisors, our funders, sustaining members and anyone who has ever donated or shared our stories over the years. We never could have made it to 10 years without that kind of dedicated support.
As the left increasingly focuses on electoral politics, a new framework is emerging for how candidates who win should partner with social movements.
As autocrats become savvier in using technology to repress dissent, activists are striving to preserve the benefits of digital activism and mitigate the risks.
Environmental activist Evgeniya Chirikova once helped save a forest in Moscow. Now she’s trying to give voice to Russian activists and journalists resisting Putin’s regime.