Save independent magazines!


My wife woke up first this morning and under our family protocols that allowed her to crank up the volume on the KPPA morning news. Often times I find it a distraction and I look for a quiet room in which to blog but this morning I heard a bit about a planned hike in the postal rates that for small magazines delivered by mail.


That is an important issue for independent and grassroots media. In checking around on this issue I found a recent Boston Globe editorial titled “Don’t Stamp Out Brainy Mags“that said:

“Smaller magazines across the country, such as The Nation, the American Spectator, Ms., and The New Republic could end up getting a bad case of what postal officials call “rate shock.” The cause is the United States Postal Service’s dubious plan to raise the price of mailing periodicals on July 15 . . . The new rate increase is based on a plan devised by Time Warner, the mammoth publisher of more than 100 magazines . . . But smaller magazines say that this plan would force them to pay a higher percentage increase than large magazines.”

I’ll look into this again and find avenues to protest and ultimately reverse the decision because I think magazine and web publications will work hand in glove for the foreseeable future, as I have blogged in the past. And that makes the rate hike a new media business issue


Frightened by users? An annual survey of 110 media and entertainment exectives by by the consulting firm Accenture found that six out of 10 respondents believe that user-generated content — amateur digital videos, podcasts, mobile phone photography, wikis and social-media blogs — one of their top three challenges.


The Accenture press release did not identify the other two problems. Most respondents told the consulting firm that they would figure out how to make money on grassroots content. Here is an excerpt:

“Two-thirds (68 percent) of the respondents said they believe that within three years their businesses will be making money on user-generated content. Sixty-two percent said they believe their companies will make money through advertising and sponsorships of social media. Other sources of profits cited were subscriptions (21 percent) and pay-per-play offerings (18 percent). However, a quarter (24 percent) of respondents said they do not yet know how their businesses will profit from user-generated content.”

Accenture surveyed 110 senior executives at advertising, film, music, publishing, radio, Internet, videogame and television companies in North America and Europe. Approximately 60 percent of the respondents were from the United States and Canada with the remaining 40 percent from Austria, Belgium, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.


To own breaking news: A Poynter commentary talks about, the continuous news desk of the Rhode Island Providence Journal. The item talks about its operations (it opens at 6:30 a.m. (and) goes live at 7 a.m.). The paper’s publisher and editor have aimed their breaking news operation at radio and television. Said publisher Howard G. Sutton:


“Decades ago, the newspaper business abdicated the franchise for breaking news to broadcast media . . . we are poised to take back the leadership position for breaking news.”


The goal, reiterated editor Joel Rawson in staff memo, is “to be the source for breaking news in Rhode Island, to dominate it, to own it.”