It’s time to send an SOS for the least among us–I mean small
independent magazines. They are always struggling to survive while
making a unique contribution to the conversation of democracy.
Magazines like National Review, The American Prospect,
Sojourners, The American Conservative, The Nation,
Washington Monthly, Mother Jones, In These Times,
World Magazine, The Christian Century, Christianity
Today, Columbia Journalism Review, Reason and many
The Internet may be the way of the future, but for today much of what
you read on the Web is generated by newspapers and small magazines. They
may be devoted to a cause, a party, a worldview, an issue, an idea, or
to one eccentric person’s vision of what could be, but they nourish the
public debate. America wouldn’t be the same without them.
Our founding fathers knew this; knew that a low-cost postal incentive
was crucial to giving voice to ideas from outside the main tent. So
they made sure such publications would get a break in the cost of
reaching their readers. That’s now in jeopardy.
An impending rate hike, worked out by postal regulators, with almost no
public input but plenty of corporate lobbying, would reward big
publishers like Time Warner, while forcing these smaller periodicals
into higher subscription fees, big cutbacks and even bankruptcy.
It’s not too late. The Postal Service is a monopoly, but if its
governors, and especially members of Congress, hear from enough
citizens, they could have a change of heart. So, liberal or
conservative, left or right, libertarian, vegetarian, communitarian or
Unitarian, or simply good Samaritan, let’s make ourselves heard.