God's Politics

God's Politics


Jim Rice: Bill Moyers Protests Loss of Independent Voices

posted by gp_intern

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.



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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.



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Bob

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.



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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 ?



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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:http://www.beliefnet.com/about/rules.asp which includes: Help us keep the conversation civil and respectful by reporting inappropriate posts to: community@staff.beliefnet.com 3



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RMB

posted May 22, 2007 at 8:28 pm


Support independent publications by signing the petition at http://action.freepress.net/campaign/postal



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