An Phoblacht sales dropping?

Jim Cusack in last week’s fifth column in the Sunday Independent indicates that as few members of the public are buying An Phoblacht, Sinn Fein has plans to use it to what amounts to an in-house organ for party members:

“The paper should be used as an organisational tool. It is there as a forum for political debate and discussion,” it points out. The Cuige is “asking areas to look at their activists’ base and ask what can be done to encourage all activists to buy the paper. It is generally agreed that the problem lies with the fact that we do not have the sellers.”

It adds: “All cumann members and CC members should agree to subscribe to the paper; a cumann must sell no less than 50 papers before they can subscribe; criteria is that there must be no returns on current paper sales; sell 100 papers and get 50 papers free; a cumann that sells between 50 and 100 papers will get 25 papers free; during election canvassing give voters a copy of the paper.”

  • mickhall

    I found this article interesting for two reasons. Firstly in the past no Republican or socialist Party was worthy of the name if they did not have their own newspaper. Indeed it was the duty of all activists, no mater what position they held in the organization to sell the Party newspaper.

    With the internet are we seeing the last days of these types of party papers. After all, the news contain can now equally be placed on a web site, as too can the details of party future meetings, activities, events etc for party activists. A web site is also much cheaper to maintain.

    This article goes on to make the claim that in the south the majority of SF activists now come from the lower middle classes; and are no longer as in the past almost exclusively working class. If we look at the article from nuzhound Mick has posted below this piece, which points out the growth of the nationalist middle classes in the north, I think there is much food for thought here for both SF members and supporters and their political opponents. Are we seeing the petty bourgeoisie in both communities [DUP] reaching out for the reins of power as they did in the UK with Thacherism, or is this all in Cusak’s imagination?

  • TL

    I agree that this article was very interesting. These types of organs are anachronistic and don’t serve the propaganda purposes for which they were created. It seems as though perhaps the plan is to move ap to an in house paper and continue to use the Daily Ireland to ‘spread the word.’

  • Kathy_C

    posted by Kathy C

    Hi all, I read that and saw the similarities to what went on recently in my diocese. We had several priest being sued and investigated for sex abuse…and the bishop of the diocese came out hard for people to give money to the doicese. Every parish was given a quota of money that had to be raised for the bishop. Yep, SF has a scandal…they spy Donaldson…the church had a scandal…sex abusing priest…and both react the same…giving quotas to the faithful…sorta like …pay up and shut up.

  • TL

    I don’t really see that connection. I took it as SF realizing their machine was out dated and making changes. As Mick Hall said, the internet is the place to be, just ask anyone (like myself) who has followed Howard Dean since the start…you can get amazing results with a forward looking web campaign.

  • mickhall

    Ouch Kathy C and at Easter to 😉

    All the best

    mick

  • Yokel

    Sad day. I remember picking up the occasional copy from a little politcal bookshop on Winetavern Street near Smithfield when I passed through. No doubt about it, its a propoganda rag but so what, at least there was no attempt at the pretense of equal fair and even journalism.

  • joe

    Ah this publication started going down hill when the WAR NEWS was relegated from page 1 to page 2 and then the very back page. I have a famous copy here with a front page picture of the van that fired the mortars on Downing St on fire in Whitehall, another one has a front page lead with pics of a helecopter that was shot down in South Armagh. It was front pages like that that kept the circulation going. Those were the days…

  • TL

    You nailed it Joe…the situation on the ground has changed and they waited too long to have that reflected in their propaganda. They’re making the right move.

  • Busty Brenda

    I wish it was election time to get my free copy.

    Can’t wait.