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VANESSA BAIRD for the New Internationalist Co-operative

Pro-Trump supporters storm the US Capitol on 6 January 2021 in a bid to subvert the democratic transfer of power to President-elect Joe Biden. SAMUEL CORUM/GETTY IMAGES

Sometimes, no, often, it’s the thing that’s staring you in the face that you do not see; the dramatic scene being played out far away is what defines the subject – in this case, democracy. As I finish this magazine, democracy’s recent big story has been the tumult around the US elections.

I was trying to think more broadly, and literally, about the meaning of democracy – power ‘held’ (kratos, in Greek) by the ‘people’ (demos) – and how we might practise it in our daily lives. Yet, here it is. Staring me in the face. The place where I have spent most of my working life.

At the time I joined New Internationalist it was a flat-structure workers’ co-operative. That structure remains but the co-op is now owned by its readers (over 3,600 of them) and its workers. We have no boss. There’s no ‘editor-in-chief’, no ‘managing director’ or any of that nonsense. It’s collective self-rule and decision-making. No-one tells us what to write and there’s no conscious or unconscious pressure to conform to a proprietor’s political or business interests.

But, like so many sectors, independent media has been hit hard by Covid-19 and we are no exception. That’s why, in a couple of months’ time, we will be asking our supporters to join us in a plan to strengthen and protect New Internationalist in the years to come.

Find out more from Laura on page 14.


Nosmot Gbadamosi is a journalist covering West Africa. She was previously Africa digital features producer for CNN International and has worked for Reuters and other agencies.

Neil Singh is a primary care physician, whose writing on health has featured in The Guardian and The Independent. He tweets @NeilSinghHQ.

Laxmi Murthy is a journalist, researcher and editor based in Bangalore, India. She is contributing editor with Himal Southasian and heads the Hri Institute for Southasian Research and Exchange.

Kareem Arthur is a freelance writer from London. Her work focuses on food and our emotional connections with cooking, which she explores through her projects The Healing Table and Woman & Food.

THE NEW INTERNATIONALIST multistakeholder co-operative exists to report on the issues of world poverty and inequality; to focus attention on the unjust relationship between the powerful and powerless worldwide; to debate and campaign for the radical changes necessary to meet the basic needs of all; and to bring to life the people, the ideas and the action in the fight for global justice. The New Internationalist magazine was founded by Peter and Lesley Adamson in 1970. Together with a range of other publications it is published by New Internationalist Publications Ltd which is wholly owned by the New Internationalist Co-operative Ltd and its co-owners.

Accounts: Katalin Szombati Administration: Mary Murray Advertising: Michael York Design: Andrew Kokotka Editorial (Magazine and Website): Vanessa Baird, Dinyar Godrej, Amy Hall, Hazel Healy, Jamie Kelsey-Fry, Husna Rizvi Editorial (Publications): Chris Brazier Funding and engagement: Laura Veitch Mail Order: Emma Blunt, James Rowland Marketing (Magazine): Rob Norman Production: Fran Harvey Web and IT: Charlie Harvey .

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