New movement magazine “veto”: very close to the action

The magazine from Dresden sees itself as a platform for committed people. What added value does this self-proclaimed "do-gooder journalism offer?"

Celebrity visitor in the Hambach Forest, also a focus of "Veto": Greta Thunberg (front) Photo: Oliver Berg/dpa

Black Lives Matter and hygiene demos, assembly bans and digital climate strike: it’s the appropriate early summer to come out with a "magazine for protest and responsibility." Veto is the name of the 100-page magazine from Dresden (price: seven euros), which grew out of a blog project and recently went to press after successful crowdfunding. According to the editorial, the magazine wants to be a stage for civil society in the country – although its own roots in activism remain clearly recognizable.

The cover topic of the debut is the climate crisis. Under the guiding question "How radical can protest be?" the first 40 pages take us to Hambacher Forst, to the intersections of Fridays for Future and Extinction Rebellion, or with Ende Gelande to the occupation of an open pit mine in Leipzig.

The stories are mostly well informed and written up, but without tackling the particularly tricky questions in each case: Where to put the potentially thousands of coal unemployed? How much erosion potential is there in grassroots democratic groups? What does it mean when the young climate movement is largely white and privileged, as described? It seems as if the makers want to encourage rather than criticize – they call it "good-guy journalism" on their Facebook page.

Tom Waurig, who edits the magazine together with Susanne Kailitz, worked for the educational initiative Aktion Zivilcourage for ten years. The association magazine Couragiert, which he founded, was in a sense the predecessor to Veto. A publication by activists for activists? You could say that, Waurig told the site: "Veto is a form of activism, but we try to adhere to journalistic standards, not to make ourselves mean with the topics."

A double interview with ARD journalist Anja Reschke and communications scientist Wiebke Loosen belongs on the reading list of everyone interested in the media

Quite discreet rotation movements in the grave of Hajo Friedrichs may be to be registered there nevertheless. When representatives of Greenpeace and "Sand im Getriebe" are allowed to discuss the overcoming of automobilism, that is already arguably harmonious. The fact that an employee of the Amadeu Antonio Foundation is portrayed, although the same foundation is one of the magazine’s sponsors, has nothing to do with each other, Waurig assures us when asked.

And finally, this magazine is already doing a lot right at the start: The queerfeminist musician Sookee and the black gender activist Tarik Tesfu are a clear announcement as columnists, the double interview with ARD journalist Anja Reschke and communications scientist Wiebke Loosen belongs on the reading list of everyone interested in media. And the pictures by Benjamin Jenak would look good in any magazine on the newsstand. From now on, Veto will appear there four times a year, the next time on June 30.

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