2018 was the year of limitations

Medieval painting of knight climbing city walls with others throwing rocks at him from above.

Our site’s launch in 2018 brought along a series of hard lessons and highlighted our limitations as a collective that prizes its independence above all else. 2019 will be the year of trying to break through these limitations.

The site goes live

The methodology we have adopted to review and translate articles for the site, in order to insure their quality, has quadrupled the quantity of work we have to perform. It is also a distributed process relying on internal tutorship in order to disseminate know-how and avoid a collective dependency on specialized technicians. This process is costing us time and effort in its first stages, but will save it on the long run.

Despite the increased workload, we have published 47 articles since May 2018, when the site launched. Barring one exception which will be rectified, they were all translated into English. The dockers’ struggles, feminism and the fight against fracking in Portugal were of particular interest to English readers.

In Portuguese, our own investigative articles – about debt vultures such as Whitestar and the model neoliberal university NOVA SBE – were some of the most read, which gives us great satisfaction.

Our videos with higher production efforts also performed well on social networks, especially taking into account the severe reach restrictions that are currently in place.

The price of independence

Why are theses additional work requirements so onerous? Because Guilhotina has never received a red cent from billionaires’ foundations, journalism awards sponsored by super-States ou entrepreneurship incentives from mega-corporations. All we do is born of our labour and desire to see reality painted as it really is. Guilhotina is built between the gaps in dealing with situations of precarious work, immigration, taking care of family – ultimately, of scraping by as common mortals at this stage of History.

Having accumulated a decent know-how during these last few years, it is perhaps time to expand Guilhotina in 2019, in order to open new fronts with new contributors and partnerships. Simultaneously, we have to implement strategies to achieve some kind of financial stability that won’t include selling our soul to the devil. If we can’t count on capital financing us, we shall have to build a superior organization of work.

The strangling of social networks

One of you first articles on the site was precisely about the way the main social networks and search engines are increasingly being censored. Such a situation has only worsened in 2018. We won’t repeat here all we have previously published, but it is clear that journalists and collectives with an anti-imperialist vision are being especially targeted, and we were not an exception.

On Facebook in particular, growth was anemic in 2018, beyond anything we have seen before. It stagnated for whole months, only growing occasionally by a few hundred followers when a publication went viral and reached tens or hundreds of thousands of people. The stable growth of the past is gone. Publications about imperialist military or propaganda actions have disappeared without warning. Globally, journalists and collectives are being purged without justification, and the option to follow them disappears.

Meanwhile, imperialism aligned information sources or those on the Left who adopt a social-imperialist position (defenders of social-democracy for the first world by imposing imperialism on the third world), become stronger and more visible by the purging of their critics.

It is a total parade of fools and cynics who accuse everyone that won’t clap for each US “humanitarian intervention” of being conspiracy theorists and in their following breath scream about the vast Putin conspiracy to mind control Trump using secret Soviet techniques. These are the same people who accuse anti-imperialists of defending dictators because they won’t repeat each new lie invented to justify wars of aggression but afterwards cry their eyes out over the refugees and victims those wars create but never connect one and the other.

2019 will then also be a year of trying to find alternative ways to reach an audience, ways which are capable of sidestepping the censorship of the Internet giants, as they are increasingly nested in the lap of the military-industrial complex.

A thanks

We would also like to send a warm thank you to everyone reading us on the other end. Your support is always dear to us and we appreciate every encouraging message or constructive criticism we receive. This support will only become more important as we continue to build a media that only answers to the truth and is the voice of the new world we carry in our hearts.

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