Success stories 2013

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A dozen issues of "Tierra y Libertad" done with Scribus

Reporter: Flaco (talk) Date: January 2013

Five years ago we took the edition of the Tierra y Libertad magazine and since then we do it with Scribus. Tierra y Libertad - despite of its spanish name - is an german-language magazine covering mainly the indigenous Zapatista movement in Chiapas/Mexico, social movement and human rights issues in Mexico and Central America.

Now, Januar 2013, Number 72 of this magazine is in the printing process. Until now we did 12 of these issues, each with 16 to 32 pages in A4 size, published with a run of 1400 to 2500 copies. You can have a look at it at the webside [1], provided by another friendly supporter.

Redaction and layout is done by a small group of volunteers, printing costs are covered by donations. We don't sell ads, just exchange ads with other publications we like to support. The group doing the work is changing from issue to issue, even if there is a hard core of people who doing it continuously. The process of publishing one issue takes about six to ten weeks. We start with a kind of brainstorming and discussion wich topics should be covered and divide responsibilities for these. In about four weeks we look out for good articles, ask other people to write or translate. When things go well we prepare the texts, do the editing, look and ask for images and permissions before we meet. Then there is one weekend when we come together - in one town or another - to do most of the work - everything that is missing and the main layout. When we are back in our homes, different people take the pdf for correction and one person is putting all the changes into the scribus file.

Apart from Scribus we use Open Office and MS Word for text processing, GIMP for graphics.

So - why we use Scribus?

The concept of Open Source Software is quite close to our political and social ideas. We are people who came together because we are still convinced that it is possible to change things in this world to make this planet a better place to live for its populations. Therefor we believe that it's a bad idea to make a business from everything. We think we need more commons - and we love when people come together to do the things they like to do, or things they see that need to be done - for their own will and their own convicition. That is where we come together with Open Source Software. And that is (among others) where we come together with the Zapatistas in Chiapas - as one part of their struggle is for community-based ownership of land. A thing they lived for centuries and that was outlawed by the mexican government for the sake of a free trade agreement with the US and Canada. On the other hand the use of a free (in this case: no-cost) cross-platform software is the only way to get this magazine done the way we do. As we meet in different cities, we have no special hardware dedicated to the project. We have to deal with the equipment that is at place and that we can carry with us. Nearly every time we install Scribus at another machine(s) (with different OSes). So you can imagine that it would be unaffordable to buy licenses for a commercial DTP-software. So we feel quite thankful to all these people maintaining and contributing to this great projekt and mention the use of Scribus in each issue via a little ad.