Title: Underground Newspapers
Notes: Last updated: 29 May 2011

Underground Newspapers are a necessary part of any revolution. They provide novel, accurate information that would have otherwise been censored or ignored by CorpMedia. A journalist's responsibility is to provide the public with viable, accurate information that allows for the people to make informed decisions in their life. Newspapers can help cure political apathy and highlight injustices throughout the community. It is of utmost importance that you provide accurate and timely facts. Otherwise, you undermine the validity of your paper and lose the public's trust. It's best to have a small team of people working on a paper together, however it's entirely possible to run one yourself.

Basic Supplies

It doesn't take a lot of money to create an underground newspaper or journal. To make a chapbook-sized journal or newsmag, you only need about 10 sheets of paper each (or less). You can liberate copy paper from wherever you work, and if you only take a few dozen sheets at a time, you can liberate an entire ream (500 sheets) in under a month.

Writing and Formatting

While newspapers can be produced by hand, an easier and more efficient way is through programs such as Adobe Indesign (which you can torrent) or if you're a linux user, a stable version of Scribus. Manuals online can teach you how to use these programs and create newspaper templates. These programs can produce neat, visually appealing newspapers. Using the old issue format allows for newer issues to be produced more quickly, without starting from scratch.

Before you can use these programs, you need to understand the different parts of a newspaper. While underground newspapers allow you the freedom to design them however you want, there are basic parts that are necessary.

  • Headline

  • Byline (optional)

  • Margins and gutters

Captions Sources Photographs

Research more about each part so that you fully understand it. If writers request anonymity, then "Anonymous will suffice as a byline. It's important to make sure that text is well aligned and that the gutters between each column is consistent. An amazing newspaper not only supplies good facts, but is visually pleasing. Strong, powerful photographs are important to grab the readers attentions.

Learn how to properly write quotes and cite sources. Always have a variety of people edit your text multiple times before publication. Simple grammar and spelling errors will make you look uneducated.


You can print your publication on most newish copiers using double-sided settings. Then fold it once, and get it stapled. The problem with normal staplers, here, is that they don't stretch across the width of your folded document (5 1/2 inches). So you need a long-reach stapler or a "saddle stapler" which is a stapler designed to bind folded documents (A "saddle stitcher" is a very large and very expensive piece of machinery you would normally find in a professional printing shop).

Your local Staples or Office Max will usually let you use their long-reach stapler for free, or in exchange for one of the copies of your new underground publication. Check out scrapbooking or other stationery stores for help with binding as well.

If you're putting together a book or manual, remember that GBC "comb" binders can be reused. Check the dumpsters in office complexes for the old business forecasts and training manuals. Carefully remove the pages, and you have a supply of comb binders! These same dumpsters can also be sources of odd colored paper (perhaps left over from another project) that can make an attractive front cover. Many office supply stores & copy shops have hand-operated GBC binder machines, often called a "Docubind", you can use for free. If you don't know how to use one, ask.


Think creatively! Remember that your newspaper is probably tailored towards a certain audience. Put your papers in places where your audience could find them. Leave a way for them to contact you and ask you questions. Talk to libraries, shops and other places and see if they would help you distribute it. Bus stops are a good place to leave newspapers

If you need to reach a non-English speaking audience translate your text for free using http://world.altavista.com/. The babelfish translator program will not work to translate slang or figures of speach so only use simple direct language. Even if you have a fluent editor it will make their work easier most of the time. See Common Phrases in Different Languages

Check out the News Services listings for sources if material for your paper.