And isn’t that how most protests begin—a disgruntled person with an axe to grind, a vision to impart or an opinion to impress gets together with other like-minded big-mouths to get out the word? While all protests aren’t political in nature, the American Way almost always dictates that there is some greater-good cause the rabble-rousers are spouting off about.
The same could be said for The New Times, which has evolved, certainly, over the last four decades while always keeping true to its mission as an alternative publication. As protesters often don’t particularly hold to a specific reason for all the noise, the definition of an alternative news outlet is as hard to pin down as the Nixon White House. Still, there are some basic truths that we hold self-evident, known as the Declaration of Alternative Nature as handed down from editor to editor of this esteemed publication:
1. The New Times is an alternative newspaper.
2. As such, The New Times has a responsibility to cover alternative lifestyles.
3. As such,The New Times has a responsibility to question government and institutions, their laws, their policies and their actions in any and all areas.
4. As such, The New Times has a responsibility to provide a forum for all opinions.
5. As such, The New Times has a responsibility to inform, educate and even to provoke its readers.
6. As such, The New Times has a responsibility to use non-traditional forms of journalism—including vernacular language, bold graphics and photographs, humor, parody, satire and others—to communicate with its readers.
7. To ban or limit coverage of any specific topic or issue violates the letter and spirit of these responsibilities and the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America.
When we piss you off (frankly, if we don’t piss you off from time to time, we aren’t doing our job), please refer to these seven tenets of the alternative media.
That said, welcome to our second annual Historic Photo Issue. Once again, it was great fun scouring the file cabinets that line our walls for the most interesting pictures that we didn’t use in last year’s issue. Similarly, we felt it makes perfect sense to kick off this edition with the types of protests that have taken place in Syracuse these last many years.
As corporate media outlets continue to shrink, there will always be a place in the public discourse for the alternative press. For the past 40 years, The New Times has tried to fulfill our mission to inform and incense you, not merely for the sake of making you angry, but to encourage you to do something with that anger for the greater good.
And that’s been our own form of protest.
(Click these links to view the photo essays.)