Background stuff on Party publications with names of editors
1979-1992 ECONEWS #1-60 Peter Frings (1-6+?), Alan Hornsey 11-13+?, Freda Chapman 16-28, 33, Dave Dalton 29-3?,Tony Wylie/Ian Smith 34-41, Dave Bradney 42-60 1979-1992 (Relaunched Winter 1982 from #11) free to members
1980-82 ECOBULLETIN #1-9 1-5 Anne Rix, 6-9+? Alan Hornsey (2 yrs ish) discontinued mid 1982 - internal members mag
1982-1998 GREEN LINE #1-149+? (1-109 Oxford Collective, 110-149 Catalyst Collective) - independent from Green Party from issue #4 (17 yrs) - subscription only
1990-1993 GREEN ACTIVIST #1-20 Green Activist (1st series - superceded Activist Mailing) 1-10 Peter Barnett/Val Oldaker, 11-20 Val Oldaker Jan 1990-Jan 1993 (4 yrs) - free to local party contacts - subscription to others
1992-3 REAL WORLD #1-5 Sandy Irvine & Pontin - free to members
1992-1998 GREEN LINK 1-34+? (edited by GPEX Local Party Support Cordinator firstly Lou Betts) (6 yrs) - free to local party contacts - subscription to others
GREEN ACTIVIST (2nd series) Relaunched as members supplement to Green World commencing Autumn 1996 by Peter Barnett. Went online around 2005? Ended 2017 by lazy Young Greens
#1-8 John Pearce (8) 1993-1994 (2 yrs);
#9-34 Peter Barnett (26) 1995-2001 (7yrs);
#35-37 Anna Bragga (3) 2002 (<1yr);
#39-58 Richard Scrase (20) 2003-2007 (6 yrs);
#59-75 Phil Sainty (17) (2008 on) (4+ yrs).
Last printed edition was #100 in 2018
Editor: Peter Barnett from #9 to # 34. Spring 1995 to Winter 2001/2
When I was appointed editor of Green World in 1995 the Party was emerging from several years of turmoil. A 15% share of the vote in the 1989 European Election accelerated an expanding membership which peaked at nearly 20,000 the following year. Sadly, the 'success' was shortlived. The first-past-the-post electoral system prevented the election of any Green MEPs. Vicious in-fighting ensued within the Party as it underwent radical constitutional changes. Many, many key activists were lost; high profile members resigned amidst controversy - David Icke, Sara Parkin... whilst the media delighted in twisting the dagger in our self-inflicted wounds.
Unsurprisingly, membership plummeted. During 1995 it had dropped to around 4000. Paid Party officers were sacked, Party HQ relocated to cheaper premises, and so on.
Green World was a tabloid-type newspaper when I took over, similar to its predecessor, the excellent Econews, which ran for 60 issues from 1979 to 1992, when it was abolished by the newly constituted Party Executive. A short-lived magazine, Real World, followed and ran for 5 issues before being replaced by Green World which was launched in February 1993 under Editor John Pearce.
I took over from issue #9 in 1995. I had grand ambitions - to produce a publication which would both retain and inspire existing members, but also appeal to potential supporters, i.e. a recruitment tool. I also hiked up the price from 30p to 90p to encourage local parties/members to sell it to raise funds. I relaunched it in its current format, i.e. an A4 magazine, with eye-catching covers, designed to sell.
I tried to balance the contents between Green Party related material (elections, campaigns, local party activities, international, etc.) and articles apertaining to the wider green movement. The memberships of Greenpeace, FoE, animal rights organisations, WWF etc. massively exceeded all political parties combined! To avoid filling the pages with too much internal Green Party material (Conference Agendas, Party contact details, committee election candidates' statements, etc.) I revived Green Activist, as a supplement for members only. Special issues designed to sell well at festivals, animal rights fairs, national election periods were produced. The page count was largley determined by the level of advertising income per edition.
To keep costs down, the magazine was printed on newsprint paper. The challenge was always to try and produce an appealing, professional looking publication on cheap paper - and it slowly improved over the years with the introduction of more colour and better production. Unlike the other editors, I not only managed the contents of the magazine, but also its production and design. I printed Green Activist myself on a Riso Digital Duplicator. To further reduce costs and lead times I eventually took over the distribution operation.
So on launch day, I would collect the completed Green world from the printers (typically about 10000 copies) and my house in Aldershot became a distribution centre. In the few days beforehand I would have printed about 4000 copies of Green Activist, purchased several thousand A4 envelopes and postage stamps, secured address labels of the party membership from HQ and received several boxes of direct mail advertising inserts from various organisations. Over the next few days thousands of envelopes would be stuffed, labelled, stamped and sealed for party members and non-member subscribers. Bulk orders would be parcelled up for local parties, Greentrade and other outlets. During the week, I would visit my local sub post office 2 or 3 times daily with a supermarket trolley full of mail (thankyou Tescos). Interestingly, a few months after I gave up Green World, the local Post Office closed down.
My first couple of issues of GW were produced on an 386 PC running Windows 3.1 using WORD 2 - very much a word processor than desk top publisher at the time. I remember the Party Contacts page - several columns of names, titles, contact details with boxes, italics, shaded areas, etc. - so much detail it really challenged the computer. When correcting a typo or changing a number or whatever, the screen would go blank and take 2 or 3 minutes to restore the adjusted page. The final copy was delivered to the printers on a pile of 3.5" floppy discs. I later upgraded to a Pentium computer, the wonderful Pagemaker DTP and Iomega 100MB zip discs, soon followed by a cdROM drive. By the end I was simply using Pagemaker 7.0 to create the pages, converting them to pdf files with Adobe Distiller and emailing them direct to the printers.
A lot of effort was put into encouraging local parties and members to purchase extra copies to resell - to raise funds, spread the word and recruit new members. Generous discounts, selling tips, free vendor badges and constant pressure was applied. We also employed wandering vendors to sell copies at Glastonbury Festival (thanks to David Taylor and his litter picking operation which provided much support to Green World).
Income from bulk sales, non-member subscriptions, advertising, inserts, commission from Big Green Gathering ticket sales helped keep GW stay within budget on the whole. Bad debts from a major advertiser caused problems at one stage, as did the fact that the Wales Green Party got away with receiving their copies for several years without paying.
During the period I was producing Green World, I also served 2 or 3 terms on GPEx as External Communications Coordinator, which also entailed running the national press operation for a while when we were unable to afford to employ a press officer.
Although from the above it seems like I produced Green World single handedly, I did receive substantial help, encouragement, guidance etc. from people too many to mention. Special thanks must go to Felicity Mawson, Convenor of the GW Editorial Board - so very helpful and supportive, and heartfelt sympathy and thanks to my long suffering wife at the time - Lindy. As the only breadwinner of our household during my editorship, Lindy enabled me to devote all my time to Green Party activities; she is the great unsung hero of Green World.