SOUTHERN PEOPLES INFORMATION NETWORK WEEKLY REPORTS
An Overall Description
Each week, spindoctorjimbo will delve deeply into some critical problem of the current moment. Each such ‘Priority Probe’ will provide a comprehensive big-picture assessment of a particular issue, or, in the case of ongoing series, a follow-up to a previous installment on a topic. Every item will weigh in at roughly ten thousand words.
The reasons for limiting weekly output to a single focus are twofold. First, it is manageable given the Southern Peoples Information Network’s current miniscule operating staff and budget. Second, it guarantees a depth-reportage that, in the SPIN view, is the only way to develop useful understanding of anything, news or otherwise. In a sense, in any case, the actual textual product of a ‘Priority Probe’ may end up being about the same number of words that appear in an average local newspaper’s daily “news hole.” However, the level of insight and the amount of practical data present will far exceed what such a standard source of news generally provides over the course of a decade, or even a lifetime.
Every article will begin with a Citizen Synopsis, similar in form to the Executive Summary so popular for communications with the present ruling elite, whom regular people need to replace if they want to have a prayer that present problems have a community friendly resolution. In addition each piece as such will contain five sections. The Preface gives a conceptual and analytical background. The Introduction examines the overarching historical facts and issues from which a particular probe springs. One or more Body sections look at the issue itself, in historical and political-economic detail. A set of Conclusions summarizes why citizens might find the probe useful and how they might act on what they have learned. An Afterword discusses whatever material from the probe might be of central import in the present unfolding of human existence.
Finally, each probe will proffer a general bibliography of sources that will allow intrepid readers to continue their own education on a matter. Moreover, recent corporate-media links will always be present here. As well, additional ‘progressive’ and other normally non-commercial citations will show up at this juncture, again giving SPIN-Priority-Report subscribers further chances to broaden and deepen their own understanding of critical issues.
One source for SPIN’s work is the democratic vision of Thomas Jefferson. His was always a thoroughly practical take on democracy. As much as any other’s, his is the thinking at the root of a SPIN manifestation of journalism. “I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them but to inform their discretion.”