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The Liberation News Service (LNS) was a leftist alternative news service which published news bulletins from 1967 to 1981.
LNS was co-founded in the summer of 1967 by Ray Mungo and Marshall Bloom, when the two of them (experienced college newspaper editors) left College Press Service (CPS) in a dispute. An organizational meeting the following October took place during a major anti-war demonstration in Washington, D.C. Its purpose was to strengthen support for the fledgling news organization. This gathering was quite tumultuous, and it was chronicled in a book by Mungo, Famous Long Ago:
The impetus for the founding of LNS came from Mungo's participation in an international meeting:
A split in the news collective, then based in New York City (recently relocated from Washington, D.C.), saw Mungo, Bloom, and Porche set up a short-lived competing operation in Western Massachusetts. Mungo characterized the split as taking place between the "Vulgar Marxists" in New York and the "Virtuous Caucus" who "liberated" the printing press and moved it to Massachusetts.
LNS garnered support from well-known journalists and activists, as documented in a letter signed by I.F. Stone, Jack Newfield, Nat Hentoff, and William M. Kunstler published in the New York Review of Books. In an appeal for funds, the signers praised the investigative work of LNS, and noted it had "grown from a mimeoed sheet distributed to ten newspapers to a printed 20-page packet of articles and graphics mailed to nearly 800 subscribers twice a week
Starting in 1968, for several years, LNS was produced from Morningside Heights in Manhattan, initially from a store front, and later from the basement of an apartment building which at one time had been a food store (but had sat empty for twenty years). This location provided LNS with a front row seat for the 1968 uprising at Columbia University, for which it provided extensive coverage, including inside the various occupied buildings, at a time when the mainstream media were only printing official statements (or in the case of the New York Post, editorials demanding blood). Coverage of the "big bust" at Columbia, in which over 700 were arrested, was one of the two most widely reprinted of all LNS stories, the other being a piece entitled "Americans Are Unfit for Human Consumption".
Reduced to serving only 150 newspapers, the LNS collective decided to close operations in August 1981. LNS records are archived variously in in the Contemporary Culture Collection of Temple University Libraries, the Archive of Social Change of the University of Massachusetts Amherst Library; its photographs are archived at New York University's Tamiment Library.
LNS was restarted as New Liberation News Service with Ray Mungo's blessing by a group of younger radical journalists led by Jason Pramas in 1990. They continued to publish NLNS from their offices in Cambridge, Massachusetts until 1993. Also in the 1990s, a Santa Cruz-based group established Liberation News which did radio programs, published a newspaper, and established a newswire on the internet. Since then various individuals have used the name Liberation News for a variety of projects.
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