God's Politics

God's Politics

Jim Rice: Bill Moyers Protests Loss of Independent Voices

Publishing an independent niche magazine has always been a risky business. Many excellent-but-small periodicals in the faith and justice genre have fallen off the cliff of financial precariousness – Christianity & Crisis and The Other Side are two late-and-lamented notables that come to mind.

One factor that can make or break small publications is the cost of mailing each issue to subscribers. A few-cents-per-ounce increase in the cost of postage costs a magazine tens of thousands of dollars, which can easily be the difference between breaking even and going bottoms-up.

As Bill Moyers points out on his blog, the U.S. Postal Service is about to implement a significant rate increase that threatens to cripple small journals. Moyers says:


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.

Moyers argues that small publications make “a unique contribution to the conversation of democracy.” Postal increases like these – that in effect punish small nonprofits to the benefit of huge multinational conglomerates – carry the very real risk of making that conversation much narrower in the years to come.

Jim Rice is Editor of Sojourners magazine.

Comments read comments(5)
post a comment
Mike Hayes

posted May 18, 2007 at 11:44 pm

Loosely related to this, advertisements appear in the mailboxes of all os us, at low cost to the senders, and we then pitch them in the trash (or, hopefully, in the recycle bin for “junk mail”). Perhaps this latest change in postage rates for magazines will lead to additional reliance on access to informational materials online, including small publications, via subscription charges. That would also reduce the amount of paper we consume, with the additional benefit of conserving trees and their environmental benefits.

report abuse


posted May 19, 2007 at 2:36 am

That’s where the roll of online services help. My organization uses Constant Contact for monthly newsletters. There is nothing to stop small independent journals from using similar means to distribute their message. As Mike pointed out, it also cuts down on the use of paper.

report abuse

Mick Sheldon

posted May 19, 2007 at 10:49 pm

Too bad charities do niot het a discount . But their is a blessing in the internet and that saves cost I would think ?

report abuse

God's Politics Moderator

posted May 21, 2007 at 7:58 pm

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29) This message thread has been visited by a God’s Politics Blog moderator for the purpose of removing inappropriate posts. Click here for a detailed explanation of the Beliefnet Rules of Conduct: which includes: Help us keep the conversation civil and respectful by reporting inappropriate posts to: 3

report abuse


posted May 22, 2007 at 8:28 pm

Support independent publications by signing the petition at

report abuse

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to and may be used by in accordance with the agreements.

Previous Posts

More blogs to enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting God's Politics. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Red Letters with Tom Davis Recent prayer post on Prayables Most Recent Inspiration ...

posted 11:14:07am Aug. 16, 2012 | read full post »

Why I Work for Immigration Reform (by Patty Kupfer)
When I tell people that I work on immigration reform, they usually laugh or say, "way to pick an easy topic." Everyday it feels like there is more fear, more hate. Raids are picking up in Nevada, California, and New York. A number of senators ...

posted 12:30:52pm Oct. 16, 2007 | read full post »

Audio: Jim Wallis on "Value Voters" on The Tavis Smiley Show
Last week Jim was on The Tavis Smiley Show and talked about how the changing political landscape will affect the upcoming '08 election. Jim and Ken Blackwell, former Ohio secretary of state, debated and discussed both the impact of "value ...

posted 10:11:56am Oct. 16, 2007 | read full post »

Verse of the Day: 'peace to the far and the near'
I have seen their ways, but I will heal them; I will lead them and repay them with comfort, creating for their mourners the fruit of the lips. Peace, peace, to the far and the near, says the Lord; and I will heal them. But the wicked are like ...

posted 9:35:01am Oct. 16, 2007 | read full post »

Daily News Digest (by Duane Shank)
the latest news on Mideast, Iran, Romney-Religious right, Blog action day, Turkey, SCHIP, Iran, Aids-Africa, India, Budget, Brownback-slavery apology, Canada, and selected op-eds. Sign up to receive our daily news summary via e-mail » Blog ...

posted 9:31:25am Oct. 16, 2007 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.