As elephant’s last issue comes out (we’re putting 100% into our web site [please subscribe to our weekly enewsletter if you want to support!], and will continue our talk show/ecofashion parties), I look with wistful gaze at the few independent magazines in the US not funded by trustafarians or multi-kajillionaires—is it possible, in this day and age, to start a magazine, build it up, and see it reach national relevance if you don’t have deep pockets or backseat investors? I tried my darnedest for six llooonnllnoonlnlong years—we got national distribution but have, say, two years more to go before being GOOD, Yoga Journal or DWELL-sized
Given our readers’ support, little elephant would likely have succeeded if I hadn’t hit a wall, burn-out-wise, and made two errors of judgement in the last six months—you can’t afford to make two mistakes in a row when you’re independent and broke. You got no insulation from reality.
But, then, I consider the millions (literally?) of blogs sprouting up, and I think this is a good, new age for the battered but noble Fourth Estate. It’s never been cheaper, easier, to get the word out from the grassroots to the mainstream.
But then I think of the great newspapers, and their investigative reporting, and I think of all the papers closing their foreign bureaus—how many blogs sent reporters to Alaska to look into Palin’s past when we find ourselves with a trouble, unknown candidate thrust upon the national scene with only seven weeks to go? It’s the elbow grease that may go missing…new blogs are echo chambers, no matter how witty or intelligent or well-written. Original reporting is endangered (see Bill Moyers’ recent special on this subject on PBS).
I leave you with a few personally-heartening videos with Ben Goldhirsch, founder of GOOD magazine, one of my favorite magazines on the shelves today:
hot on elephant
July’s Full Moon in Capricorn: The Heart wants what it Wants. The 4 Stages of a Good Divorce. How to Love a Woman who Scares You. Our Soulmates are Rarely Who We Expect. I Still Think of You. Men, Let’s Stop Fooling Ourselves: Size Matters. To the One Who Tried to Break Me. An Open Letter to the Fixers. How your Stored Memories in the Amygdala can lead to PTSD. How My Sister’s Death Transformed my Self-Perception.