Verdant Square Network is the new project of Grateful Dread Peace Media, an independent media outlet founded in 1996 to serve the peace-progressive community in the public interest. Over the following two decades-plus (of a 40-year mainstream and alt-media broadcasting and print journalism career) we have won honors and earned respect for our enterprise, investigative, and public service reporting, blogging (from our still-missed All Facts & Opinions), interviewing, progressive/LGBTQ+/anti-racism activism, and singular broadcast offerings. Motivated by a dangerously polarized nation in desperate need of people- and planet-centered solutions, we start 2020 with a new name and spirit (suggesting rebirth, growth, hope, positivity), a reignited determination, and an always unwavering devotion to truth, facts, citizen action, fairness, and progressive/pacifist values.
The mission of Verdant Square Network and our satellite partners, including Verdant Square Network New Jersey, is the same as that of our previous effort, the 23-year-old internet public radio station, Grateful Dread Public Radio, which sadly went on hiatus due to funding loss in 2019, but happily is returning soon as Verdant Square Radio:
To educate, inform, challenge and inspire through presenting and producing peace-progressive-themed news and culture content, resource information, and programming presented in the public interest.
Right now, at our re-start, we’re in the process of building a multimedia progressive information center and broadcast/stream studio offering news content, arts and lifestyle coverage, The Armchair Activist‘s action alerts, community/profile pages, and a 24/7 streaming community service radio station. We’ll get there over time with the help of those who share our principles, see the need, value the services we provide and the work we do, and want to partner in the effort in whatever way they can. To borrow a bit from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), it’s all about #NotMeUs.
The VSquare Newsroom will present aggregated and original news reports and commentary on issues of political, social, and cultural consequence to progressives throughout the US, and by extension, Canada, the UK, and the world. While the 5Ws journalism will refrain from bias (though we reject false equivalences and will speak truth) and conform to Associated Press style, our commentary comes from a peace-progressive but nonpartisan viewpoint.
Commenting: Kindness Leads
All are welcome to comment on articles where commenting is permitted (pending registration and moderation) or to contact us, regardless of political or ideological stripe. Only civil responses, however, will see print/air or receive a reply.
And that’s another thing: While we are beyond through with the mandated faux civility, bigot coddling, and inappropriate equivalencies demanded by mainstreamers, centrists, the Unwarranted Default, and a political establishment that does not represent yet seeks to exploit progressives, Verdant Square Network will be led by kindness. Though the site is openly progressive and democratic socialist, HERE and on the @VerdantSquare and @VSNNJ Twitter feeds and other social media, we will do our best to treat everyone with respect and empathy. In commentary, we will speak often unflattering truth about 45*–but we will not insult him.
The philosophy we employ is a tweak on Gandhi: We will speak out and say what’s TRUE, what’s INTENDED POSITIVELY, and what NEEDS to be said. There is a corollary: Sometimes snark is needed. We hope to have fun here as well, when possible and appropriate. Progressives and resisters often fail at self-care: Verdant Square Network also hopes to encourage us all to do better in this vital area of life so that society–once it becomes decent–can thrive and we can as well, while we’re working for a better future and once we arrive.
If you are interested in submitting a guest article, artwork, or commentary to Verdant Square Network New Jersey, we would love to consider it for publication. Send a pitch to our editor, and use SUBMISSION as your subject header.
In short, and I paraphrase the mission statement of the venerable web magazine that has inspired me over the years, Dick Price and Sharon Kyle’s LA Progressive: Verdant Square Network is here to be a forum for progressive views and principles; to stand for peace and nonviolence; to promote compassion, kindness, and truth; to champion humanist, progressive values and a free press; to encourage positive, progressive citizen action; to help build community and collaboration; to defend the dispossessed and powerless; and to empower the progressive resistance. In this way, we help work toward a better Garden State, a better nation, and a better world. Please join us and support us.
Editor, Program Director, Verdant Square Network
Founder, Grateful Dread Peace Media