2 November 2010

One World Column - Looking Back, Looking Forward

By Marguerite Finn

The e-mail came out of the blue on 26th August 2010. It informed us that the One World Column (OWC) due out on Saturday 28th August would be the last one. This news came as quite a shock because there had been no prior discussion with the Eastern Daily Press (EDP) and no hint that the column was about to be axed.

The reason given, that the EDP wanted to “ring the changes” was not particularly convincing as we pointed out to them the OWC had six columnists all taking turns to write on a variety of subjects in very different styles, which we considered was “ringing the changes” every week! However, the Editor’s decision was non-negotiable so, after more than six years and over 320 columns, the OWC in the EDP came to an abrupt end on 28th August 2010.

The EDP has assured us that it will give “green” politics and environmental issues a “fair shout” – and no doubt it will, in its own way. But there is one category the EDP did not mention and that missing category is “peace issues”. This was a key area of comment for writers of the One World Column, along with international development, poverty, globalisation, human rights, international relations and the environment. The columnists’ aim was to provide a positive voice for the future and to represent a wide group of concerned Norfolk people.

We will continue to do this through our website http://www.oneworldcolumn.org/

The OWC started in May 2004 when the Iraq war was at its height. The EDP gave us the opportunity to have a column after a group of us in the local peace movement demanded a meeting with the then Editor, Peter Franzen, to complain about the pro-war stance of the paper and the lack of any alternative view point.

There were five columnists at the outset: Andrew Boswell, Jacqui McCarney, Marguerite Finn, Dr Rupert Read and Ian Sinclair. In time, we lost Ian Sinclair and Jacqui McCarney and we were joined by Liam Carroll, Juliette Harkin, Dr Nicola Pratt and Dr Lee Marsden. Over the years, these too moved on to other things and new people came along. Every column is available to read on our website.

The columnists today are: Marguerite Finn, Dr Rupert Read, Professor David Seddon, Charlotte Du Cann and Trevor Phillips. We will continue to write weekly columns offering a different way of looking at things. We hope you will join us regularly on http://www.oneworldcolumn.org/ and let us know what you think.

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