I first didn’t know who Ruth was until i read The Bottomline Issue 25, Vol 4: 20 September 2007.
Having subscribed to this publication i now realised why it’s important for one to at least subscribe to National Publications, and not only newpapers but other medias which provide valuable information.
The Bottoline therefore, encourages all its readers to become cotributors to its publication and keep writing on issues that affect them and the society at large. It further said that Ruth First made a “meaningful contribution through the ‘battle of the pen’ on issues that confront our organisation and the revolution in general.”
Encouraging people who want their voices and those of others is a good thing especially given the South Africa’s Freedom of Expression.
Although SA enjoys this right, it should however do it with responsibility and not otherwise as some national publications have been doing recently.
According to Bottomline:
Articles or stories may cover any topic considered relevant to the purpose of
our publications. When submitting articles or stories, please consider the
following; articles should be 800 – 1500 words, stories 250 – 300 words in
length. Our publications are aimed at a broad range of young people within the
YCL and the progressive youth movement, but at specially at branch members.
Contributors should therefore use plain language. Articles should be submitted
together with the name and contact details of the author.
What The Bottomline failed to consider is that people in the rural community who have more to say than those in developed or developing areas. Also taking into consideration places that hardly have internet connection and let alone a Library where the community would find or access The Bottomline publications. And not forgeting the level of illiteracy in those communities.
It is clear that The Bottomline is not trying to replace Ruth First, but only trying to find activist writer who will become “freedom and democratic and peace” writers through just their thoughts and ink.
Will this somehow test my “journalistic” writing approach or not – remains to be seen.
Who knows, I could be The Bottonline’s next “Ruth Second.”