Z Communications

Z Communications is the overarching name for all of Z's various projects and activities. It includes Z Magazine, ZNet, Z Media Institution, Z Video Productions, ZSpace, ZBooks, and ZSpeakers, and diverse components of each.

ZNet has thousands of files and diverse facilities. The top page, linked from here, highlights especially the newest content. Subsites focus on particular places in the world, such as Iraq and Venezuela, and on particular topics, such as International Relations and Ecology - as well as on Debates, Interviews, Books, and Vision and Strategy, particularly Participatory Economics, or Parecon for short. Volunteers have translated ZNet articles into many languages including Spanish, Italian, Slovak, Turkish/Kurdish, German, Hindi, and more. ZNet's Instructionals and ZSchool, and its blogs, forums, uploaded graphics, pictures, audio, video, and personal preference pages round out a selection of its features.

Z Magazine is a radical print and online periodical dedicated to resisting injustice, eliminating repression, and creating liberty. It addresses international relations, ecology, economics, gender, race, culture, politics, etc. 2007 is ZMag's twentieth anniversary year in print and it now also appears online for Z Sustainers. The name, Z, was inspired by the movie Z, directed by Costa-Gavras, that tells the story of repression and resistance in Greece. Comrade Z has been assassinated and his killers, including the chief of police, are indicted. The prosecutor disappears and a right-wing military junta takes over. Security police set out to prevent "a mildew of the mind" and infiltration of "isms." As the closing credits roll, the filmmakers list the things banned by the junta. They include: peace movements, labor unions, long hair on men, Sophocles, Tolstoy, strikes, the Beatles, Chekhov, Mark Twain, the bar association, sociology, Becket, the free press, the new math, and the letter Z, scrawled on a sidewalk as the film's final image, symbolizing "the spirit of resistance lives."

Through ZSpace our users participate and innovate for the whole community. All registered ZCom Free Members get free access to view all ZSpace contents including Comments, Blogs, Polls, Forums, the Mutual Aid System, and book and other preference materials. Each Free ZCom Member also receives four free email updates a month, including articles, site news, etc. Beyond expanded viewing access, each member who gives ZCom a recurring donation becomes a Z Sustainer. Sustainers get a ZSpace page to upload a bio and photo, and to enter book and movie rankings into our database. Each Sustainer also gains additional ZSpace benefits depending on their donation level ranging from full access to ZMag online, a Z Commentary emailed nightly, commenting on all articles and blogs, and using the Mutual Aid and full Forum System, to having your own Blog system embedded within the ZCom community of blogs, posting book reviews, RSS options, and even discounts (up to 100%) on ZMag subscriptions, ZVideos, ZEO courses, and ZBooks, and many other benefits as well.

ZSustainers are users of ZCom who decide to donate to help us maintain and expand the operations. Sustainers donate amounts they choose, on a schedule they choose, by means they choose. Sustainers are what makes Z's work possible. Sustainers receive, as a sign of our appreciation, various benefits such as a nightly commentary email, access to Z Magazine online, their own ZSpace page with uploading abilities for their graphics, articles, and even their videos, their own blog, unlimited forum and mutual aid access and posting, commenting on articles, blogs, and reviews, throughout the site, receipt of rss feeds, and even discounts on Z subscriptions, ZVideos, ZSchool course offerings, and other store items. We hope regular users of our site and projects will help us keep growing so as to better meet the community needs of our users.

The Z Media Institute or ZMI occurs nearly annually in early June. About 65 students attend, ranging in age from high school to retirees, and in experience from new activists to long-time revolutionaries. ZMI is held in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Each day includes four or five class sessions and a nighttime lecture chosen from many offerings. ZMI prepares students to work with all media and focuses as well on activism and related analyis, vision, and strategy. Those attending leave ZMI feeling better informed, better motivated, and better connected to make activist and/or media contributions.

ZEO, standing for Z Education Online is a new endeavor to be initiated in our new upgraded system. Its main contours will unfold in coming months. We are working so that ZEO will be a kind of online school with dozens of courses and faculty, four ten week sessions a year, extensive software for lectures, class interactions, etc., student evaluations, very low fees, and many more features.

ZBlogs is an extensive system of writers' and sustainers' offerings. Each regular ZCom writer gets his or her own blog system. Each Sustainer does too. All posts are linked from the writer's and Sustainer's ZSpace pages. There is also a compendium blog of all writers, one of all Sustainers, and one that encompasses both. There are blog sub systems by topic and place, linked from throughout ZCom. All together, ZBlogs includes contributions from thousands of people, accessible by person, topic, place, and type, with commenting throughout.

ZForums is a huge system readable by all users but in which only writers and sustainers can post questions, comments, answers, etc. The forums are arranged by topic, place, and type, as well as by who hosts with particular writers like Chomsky, Albert, etc., addressing questions put to them. There is also a mutual aid system where people can get help regarding all manner of needs from travel housing, organizing or life tips, contacts, jobs, and much more.

Founded in 2000 as a way to distribute talks and classes from Z Media Institute, Z Video Productions has expanded to bring important talks from other venues as well as documentaries and interviews. We now have more than 60 titles on DVD, including talks by Noam Chomsky, Michael Albert, bell hooks, Howard Zinn, Arundhati Roy, Hugo Chavez, and many more. Viewer comments indicate that the videos have been a very effective medium for understanding many of the topics found in Z Magazine and on ZNet. In some respects they have proven more accessible — for example, Noam Chomsky's humor and casual speaking style, the dynamism of Hugo Chavez, and the atmosphere of an evening session at the World Social Forum in Mumbai, India. The ZVideo site online includes decriptions of all our videos, with easy search, plus, in some cases, excerpts to view. For those who would like to submit videos for the ZVP catalog, send them to Z Video Productions, 18 Millfield Street, Woods Hole, MA 02543.