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News from the Co-op: March 2010

Blog posts reflect the views of their authors.

2010 is the Year of the Dominion.

Thanks to the unrelenting dedication of our cooperative's organizers and contributors, and thanks to the solid support of sustaining members, subscribers and donors to the Dominion and Media Co-op, 2010 has come in like a tiger!

First: the numbers.

The Dominion / Media Co-op is currently supported by 143 sustaining members. 437 people subscribe to The Dominion, and 74 people and organizations receive sponsored community subscriptions. 181 people currently write for, illustrate, copy edit and otherwise volunteer for the paper. Four staff are paid to edit, organize and outreach; three journalists per month are paid to write; and cover illustrators are now being solicited and paid. The Dominion will publish two special issues in 2010. The Media Co-op has two office spaces: one in Montreal and one in Vancouver.

One number has been reduced: The Dominion will only publish eight issues in 2010, a decision passed at a Board meeting on January 27. The decision to publish eight issues instead of 10 was based on:
- the high monthly cash and labour expense related to publishing regular issues of the Dominion (due to low printing numbers and therefore high price per copy)
- a desire to reallocate resources, with more money and labour spent expanding the Media Co-op model
- increasing the number of special issues, which are high-profile projects for the Dominion
- the natural rhythm of the year, taking into account two special issues, an AGM and a membership drive in 2010

We are interested in your feedback about this decision, so do not hesitate to contact us with questions or concerns.

2010 has begun with an unchallenged focus all the way west. After the Dominion released its special report on the Olympics, the Vancouver Media Co-op (VMC) exploded onto the news scene as the leading information source for news of Olympics resistance. The Co-op's media space in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside has been a-buzz with over 40 independent journalists from all corners of North America, who have been using the Co-op's website to post the latest videos, photos, articles, blogs and news releases pertaining to Olympics resistance, averaging 16 unique posts daily. With over a million hits to the website the first weekend of the Olymipcs, the server crashed twice, due to the high volume of traffic directed toward vancouver.mediacoop.ca and 2010.mediacoop.ca. The VMC's use of sophisticated street-reporting site, 2010.mediacoop.ca, aggregated the latest tweets from the streets with content from the VMC site to create a gathering ground for truly grassroots reporting. VMC footage was used by Democracy Now! and Grit TV in the States, and video reports from the contentious Feb 13 Heart Attack march aired on the Media Co-op site a full half-hour before CTV or CBC. The VMC is always looking for volunteers to join the growing troupe of independent journalists covering Vancouver's streets. For major street cred, order a VMC tee for $20: dawn@mediacoop.ca.

Dominion and Media Co-op organizers and journalists in Montreal have a bright, beautiful new office space, shared with Montreal independent filmmakers. The space has facilitated the training and work of interns, who have become integral to the Dominion's operations. From writing stories and monitoring the website to drafting policy documents and licking envelopes, Kyle Hodnett, Cameron Fenton, Kriya Govender and Antoine Ortega have added a depth and polish to what we've been able to accomplish. Il y a des murmures d'un début d'une co-op de média à Montréal... Interested in volunteering with the Dominion in Montreal? Want to talk more about a Cooperatif Media Montreal? amy@mediacoop.ca, dru@mediacoop.ca, tim@mediacoop.ca

In collaboration with the shiny new Toronto Media Co-op (TMC), the Dominion will release its first 2010 special issue on May 1. The special issue will focus on the G8-G20 meetings in Toronto and Huntsville and historic and current resistance to and defiance of the economic system imposed on the globe by finance ministers and heads of state. The VMC hopes to share 2010.mediacoop.ca with Toronto during the meetings in June for similar grassroots street reporting. The TMC is currently looking for a media space, as well as volunteers and journalists to help with the special issue, and with coordinating and covering news on the streets during the G8-G20 in June. Got a scoop in Toronto? Sign up with the TMC and post your stuff! tmc@mediacoop.ca

With more sustaining members than any other region in Canada, the Halifax Media Co-op continues to pump out high-quality, investigative news from the grassroots of Canada's ocean playground. Journalism workshops and skill-shares punctuate the HMC's steady stream of stories about food security, reproductive justice, Atlantica and poverty. To volunteer, contact hillary@mediacoop.ca.

What better place to curl up with the latest news from the grassroots than your local library? What better way to spread the Dominion's coverage of independent news across Canada? March is Library Month! We are asking you to help spread the word by walking into your local library and asking for The Dominion. Public libraries subscribe to a newspaper or magazine based on the number of requests to see it on the shelves, so all you have to is ask, and we all receive.

May will yet again be Membership Month for the Dominion / Media Co-op, so stay tuned for how to help out, get involved, and cash in on membership perks!

The Dominion Newspaper Cooperative's 2010 AGM is being planned for June. Location and exact dates to be announced.


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