The importance of radical publishing

Graphic by Kash Patel

Critiques of ‘mainstream media’ have been consistent and implacable for a significant amount of time. The biases of news outlets perceived as trustworthy seem to become more substantial, with political affiliations often siding with major news outlets that favour their party. Elon Musk recently stated after his takeover of Twitter that he hopes Twitter promotes citizen journalism, which in turn will force mainstream media to attempt to dispel biases in order to stay competitive. Such an approach to criticizing media organizations proves problematic as if one is to learn the news, how could they do so while straying from the subliminal biases of mainstream media while still ensuring the information they consume is accurate and true? 

In contrast to staying unbiased – or at least claiming to do so – many organizations have decided to openly embrace their bias, finding a new target demographic. During the pandemic, a group of left-wing publishers joined together to form a coalition titled The Radical Publishers Alliance. Though the partnership was created to ensure stability during the unstable pandemic, the ‘alliance’ has seemingly provided its own solution to the supposed problem of ‘mainstream media.’ The alliance is formed of 25 publishers all publishing works by leftist authors in a variety of formats – some through subscription services, others through more traditional. Though the companies in the ‘alliance’ differ in some respects, all openly flaunt the idea that all their work is ‘radically left.’  

By openly regarding their biases, they fix the problem of biased media. If the problem with mainstream media is that the biases are subliminal – being that some would watch news sites like CNN or Fox News without being aware of the biases of the presented information – by openly declaring the bias, readers can understand what may and may not be covered in the works, understanding that they may not be getting a centrist point of view and understand possible inconsistencies in the news they digest. 

The companies under the alliances also ensure the information presented is from trustable sources/well-regarded figures in their corresponding fields. Notable authors presented through the alliance include Hegelian philosopher Slavoj Žižek, feminist Judith Butler, psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan – even Bernie Sanders. By presenting well-known and notable figures – ones with a degree of expertise, although biased – readers can ensure that the information they are reading at least comes with some forethought rather than disregarding the mainstream media as irretrievably and incomprehensibly biased and rather getting your news from @RandomTwitterUser123, as seemingly suggested by Musk.

Not only do these publishing companies offer an outlet for ‘radical liberal ideologies’ – though only publishing notable and respected figures – they offer the ability for authors to express more unique and traditionally liberal/varying viewpoints. Though there seems to be no notable contemporary publishing conservative viewpoints, it is likely one will pop up in response to the struggles of ‘mainstream media,’ allowing full and truthful expression – through the acknowledgement of one’s own biases. It isn’t unknown for publishers to terminate deals with authors with contrasting viewpoints (such as US Senator Josh Hawley), making it even more likely that viewpoints not considered ‘mainstream’ will take refuge in these ‘radical publishing houses’ – popularized through the pandemic, in response to the seemingly endless of mainstream media. 

Leave a Reply